On Tuesday night, April 26, 2022, the King County Sheriff’s Office Guardian One Helicopter was out providing patrol support in Kent when it was struck by a laser.
Police say that at around 10:20 p.m., a green laser was pointed at the helicopter from an apartment complex, lighting up the cockpit.
Using the camera system on the helicopter, the aircrew was able to detect that the source was from an apartment.
The FBI’s Seattle Field Office is offering a $10,000 reward and seeking the public’s assistance to locate the individual(s) responsible for pointing lasers at aircraft around Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).
“Pointing a laser at an aircraft is a federal violation that can cause serious injuries and travel delays, and thousands of laser attacks go unreported every year,” the FBI said.
The FBI says that, as of March 9, aircraft around Sea-Tac have documented more than 100 separate incidents involving lasers. Pilots landing at the airport have experienced a green laser illuminating and tracking the cockpit of their aircraft while on approach to land at SEA. Neighborhoods with reported incidents include: SeaTac, South Park, Highland Park, White Center, Burien, Normandy Park, and Des Moines.
People who violate Federal Aviation Regulations by shining lasers at aircraft can be fined civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation. The FAA has imposed civil penalties up to $30,800 against people for multiple laser incidents.
Below is video of Tuesday night’s incident, which includes the laser pointing, the crew’s response and eventual tracking of the suspect until Kent Police on foot contact them on a trail at Lake Meridian (running time 4:54):
— KCSOAirsupport (@KCSOAirsupport) April 28, 2022