Mission man accused of pointing laser at DPS helicopter pilot

Omar Pina // Hidalgo County Jail

A Mission man is accused of pointing a laser at a Department of Public Safety (DPS) helicopter, which temporarily blinded the pilot.

Omar Pina found himself in trouble with the law after aiming the green laser at a flying marked DPS helicopter, documents reveal.

The alleged crime happened on August 13th in Mission.

The pilot and co-pilot were conducting operations near Rancho del Rey Street when the intensity of the light impaired the pilots control of the helicopter momentarily, a criminal complaint explains.

Ground patrol responded to the residence where two men were seen standing outside.

That TMs when DPS asked the homeowner for consent to search the home.

DPS found a small flashlight, which emitted a green laser light, underneath a couch cushion.

When authorities interviewed Pina, he allegedly told them he was shining the laser on trees.

Pina was arrested and charged with illumination of aircraft by intense light, a Class A misdemeanor.

The 20-year-old was booked into the Hidalgo County jail on the charge.

Incidents like this are called a laser strike and it's a federal crime punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.