A Lodi man faces felony charges after he was arrested for pointing a green laser beam at a California Highway Patrol aircraft early Sunday.
At approximately 1:30 a.m., a CHP aircraft was flying over Lodi after there had been reports of a green laser beam being pointed into the air, according to Cpl. Dale Eubanks of the Lodi Police Department.
While over Lodi, the pilot and flight officer operating the plane said they noticed a green light being pointed at their aircraft.
Using their imaging systems to pinpoint a coordinate for the laser beam, CHP officers discovered the origin of the light to be coming from a home on the 500 block of Forrest Avenue, according to a press release from the Lodi Police Department.
The CHP officers notified Lodi police and asked officers to go to the residence.
Lodi police arrived at the home to find Lodi resident Charles Brill, 52.
Brill stated he had not meant any harm in pointing the laser beam into the air, Eubanks said. Brill just liked to see "the green color sparkle," according to Eubanks.
Brill was initially booked at the Lodi jail, but was later transferred to San Joaquin County Jail, where he is still incarcerated, the Lodi police press release stated.
He was charged with pointing a laser beam at an aircraft, which in the state of California is considered a felony, according to Eubanks.
Per the California Penal Code, Brill faces a potential of three years in prison if he is found guilty, in addition to up to $2,000 in fines.
According to the department's press release, the same path the CHP officers flew the night Brill was arrested is used by other commercial airlines that fly directly over Lodi.
Previous reports have indicated similar laser beam activity in the area where Brill was pointing his laser beam into the sky, so CHP aircraft will be frequenting the Lodi area more often based on the complaints from other pilots, the press release added.
A copy of the laser beam incident was recorded by the CHP officers with their imaging system and is available for viewing at the Lodi Police Department, located at 215 W. Elm St. in Lodi.
Anyone with information about other laser beam incidents is encouraged to call Lodi Area Crime Stoppers at 209-333-6771.
Contact reporter Katie Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.