Dallas man pleads guilty to pointing laser at helicopter

Posted Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013  Print Reprints

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A Dallas man pleaded guilty Thursday morning to aiming a laser pointer at a Dallas police helicopter in January as the aircraft searched for a burglary suspect.

Kenneth Santodomingo, 22, entered his plea in a Dallas federal courtroom on the charge of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft.

The Dallas man was arrested Jan. 28 after Dallas police tracked down the location.

Santodomingo faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 25.

The incident occurred about 4 a.m. Jan. 28 in the 8000 block of Umphress Road in Dallas.

Dallas police had arrived at the scene in response to a burglary of a motor vehicle. Officers asked for assistance from the Dallas police helicopter, Air One.

As Air One worked the area, someone beamed the helicopter with a green laser at least four times, police said. The intensity of the light obscured the vision of the pilot and impaired the pilot's ability to control the aircraft, federal agents said in a news release.

The pilot tracked down the man with the laser pointer and directed officers on the ground to the suspect to a residence in the 7000 block of Lake June Road.

Santodomingo answered the officers' knock at the front door. He admitted having pointed the green laser light at the helicopter to see how far it would go and handed over the laser pointer to the officers at that time, federal agents said.

Police notified the FAA of the aircraft laser strike.

The case was investigated by Dallas police and the FBI.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763

Twitter: @mingoramirezjr