NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Federal authorities Tuesday used the Patriot Act to charge a man with pointing a laser beam at an airplane overhead and temporarily blinding the pilot and co-pilot.
The FBI acknowledged the incident had no connection to terrorism but called David Banach's actions "foolhardy and negligent."
Banach, 38, of Parsippany admitted to federal agents that he pointed the light beam at a jet and a helicopter over his home near Teterboro Airport last week, authorities said. Initially, he claimed his daughter aimed the device at the helicopter, they said.
He is the first person arrested after a recent rash of reports around the nation of laser beams hitting airplanes.