Gwinnett man accused of pointing laser at police helicopter

Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department

Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department

A Gwinnett County man was arrested Monday night after investigators said he confessed to pointing a laser at a police helicopter “for fun.”

Fredy A. Contreras, 47, of Lilburn, is charged with obstruction and laser use against an aircraft, both misdemeanors. His case will also be referred to the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Attorney for possible prosecution, Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Collin Flynn said Tuesday in a news release.

According to the initial investigation, a Gwinnett police helicopter was searching Misty View Trail in Lilburn for a stolen car. Just after 9 p.m., a green laser was pointed at the cockpit of the helicopter, Flynn said.

The pilot was able to record video of the suspect shining the laser from a house on the street, then guide police to the address. When officers responded to the house and met Contreras, he admitted that he had pointed the laser at the helicopter after being told he was caught on video, Flynn said.

“Pointing a laser at an aircraft is extremely dangerous as it can hinder the pilot’s ability to handle the aircraft and interfere with the equipment on board,” Flynn said. “The police department wants the general public to know that this is unlawful.”

Contreras was booked into the Gwinnett County Jail early Tuesday morning and released later in the day on $1,850 bond, online jail records show.

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