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Old 07-07-2014, 10:33 PM #1
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Default Laser Incident Close To Home

A man in Austin TX was just apprehended for pointing a laser at a Police Chopper. He plead guilty to the charge and is facing 5 yrs in Prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Link: Austin man pleads guilty to pointing laser at police chopper | KXAN.com

So anybody close to Austin may I recommend keeping your lasers BELOW the horizon until this blows over?

Thanks,
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:39 PM #2
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Default Re: Laser Incident Close To Home

How can anyone afford a fine of that magnitude? What happens if you get fined that amount and can't afford it, pay it off in instalments the rest of your life?!
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:11 AM #3
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Default Re: Laser Incident Close To Home

Quote:
Originally Posted by trencheel303 View Post
How can anyone afford a fine of that magnitude? What happens if you get fined that amount and can't afford it, pay it off in instalments the rest of your life?!
Honestly its TO SMALL of a fine as it is, might as well ramp it up to a million or over. Because as it is the number of incidents for pointing lasers at planes/helicopters is rising not falling year to year.

Or you know you could put some cash into educating people in the safe use of lasers but that's just crazy talk
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Old 07-08-2014, 02:45 PM #4
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Default Re: Laser Incident Close To Home

Quote:
Originally Posted by BubonicCronic View Post
They'll seize his assets first. Maybe garnish his wages and state tax returns after he gets out.

You cant get out of paying a criminal court mandated fine. They'll get their money one way or another.
Fines are a bargaining tool for prosecutors. The judge usually scales the fine to the basis of income and then adds on enough extra to make things painful. For a wealthy person the fine may have more of a remedial impact then the jail sentence.

Usually law says 'AND/OR' with respect to fines, making them discretionary.

Fines actually can keep a person out of jail.

The state will get its money... However there are ways for a lawyer to apply a means test and get a overly vindictive fine negotiated down.
Depending on the local law, the fine may be paid in installments, as well.

IT IS WISE TO AVOID ENTERING THE JUSTICE SYSTEM AT ALL COSTS, BECAUSE THINGS ARE TAKEN OUT OF YOUR HANDS IN MANY/MOST CASES.

That said, most judges DO apply proportionality where allowed by mandatory sentencing guidelines.

Judges look at "Mens Rea", which is worth a Google.

Steve

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Old 07-08-2014, 08:02 PM #5
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Default Re: Laser Incident Close To Home

C'mon seriously? $250k for something like that with a laser POINTER? But seriously those stupid acts hurt our reputation and the gov could get involved here.
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:13 AM #6
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Default Re: Laser Incident Close To Home

A laser is like a knife. Most people use knifes as eating utensils, or to spread butter. We also use them to chop vegetables, cut meat, etc. Surgeons use special knives called scalpels to cut people open. Some people even make a living as professional knife-throwers. If you enjoy collecting knives as a hobby, even practicing your knife-throwing skills, that has nothing to do with the criminal who stabs somebody or throws a knife at a police officer. Even if someone just throws a butter-knife at a police officer, that person is in big trouble.
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:17 AM #7
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Default Re: Laser Incident Close To Home

I think in most places in the US you would be shot and killed on the spot if you threw a butter-knife at a police officer, even a plastic one.

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Old 07-09-2014, 02:24 AM #8
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Default Re: Laser Incident Close To Home

Lasers are also used as targeting beams for guns, which I think is a big part of why pointing them at a policeman is a big no no.
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Old 07-09-2014, 04:40 AM #9
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Default Re: Laser Incident Close To Home

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Originally Posted by IsaacT View Post
Lasers are also used as targeting beams for guns, which I think is a big part of why pointing them at a policeman is a big no no.
Yup you hit the nail on the head, most people who I know who have lasers have them mounted to guns.
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Old 07-09-2014, 05:01 AM #10
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Default Re: Laser Incident Close To Home

Quote:
Its not just about the laser pointer. Its about the act of an individual trying to flash blind a police helicopter. Shinning a bright light into any moving vehicle elevates the odds of people getting injured or dying. More so for a vehicle in flight. What if he caused the helicopter to crash into a building full of people and they died? That $250k fine would seem like a very small penalty.

These incidents are getting out of hand and they need to make an example so that people will think twice about doing it in the future. Limiting access to pointers is one way. A better way is to hit people where it hurts...in the pocket. And thats exactly what they are doing with this incident.
You don't know he was intentionally trying to flash blind the helicopter pilot. In fact, you took the entire situation way out of proportion. From the article, it says he was walking on a path. Chances are whenever there's a walking path, there won't be an abundance of buildings around to conveniently just crash into. And these are trained pilots who won't just swerve out of trajectory because they can't see for a few seconds. Helicopters can easily stay still in the air long enough for the pilot to regain sight. While I'm not supporting irresponsible use of laser pointers, I definitely think a quarter million dollars is an absurdly large fine and 5 years is ridiculous. I could only see that being close to reasonable if he inhibited some very important police chase or another. Raising fines and elevating punishments will only cause further harm to the individuals and not stop others from doing it. Think about it. Do you think the type of people smart enough to point a laser at a police vehicle will learn not to from an article? They'll most likely forget about it in whole. If there's any chance of lessening the frequency of these incidents, all sale of laser pointers needs to be deemed illicit without a proper licensing or another form of qualification that comes with safety training.
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:42 PM #11
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Default Re: Laser Incident Close To Home

Quote:
Originally Posted by BubonicCronic View Post
Its not just about the laser pointer. Its about the act of an individual trying to flash blind a police helicopter. Shinning a bright light into any moving vehicle elevates the odds of people getting injured or dying. More so for a vehicle in flight. What if he caused the helicopter to crash into a building full of people and they died? That $250k fine would seem like a very small penalty.

These incidents are getting out of hand and they need to make an example so that people will think twice about doing it in the future. Limiting access to pointers is one way. A better way is to hit people where it hurts...in the pocket. And thats exactly what they are doing with this incident.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Photonz View Post
You don't know he was intentionally trying to flash blind the helicopter pilot. In fact, you took the entire situation way out of proportion. From the article, it says he was walking on a path. Chances are whenever there's a walking path, there won't be an abundance of buildings around to conveniently just crash into. And these are trained pilots who won't just swerve out of trajectory because they can't see for a few seconds. Helicopters can easily stay still in the air long enough for the pilot to regain sight. While I'm not supporting irresponsible use of laser pointers, I definitely think a quarter million dollars is an absurdly large fine and 5 years is ridiculous. I could only see that being close to reasonable if he inhibited some very important police chase or another. Raising fines and elevating punishments will only cause further harm to the individuals and not stop others from doing it. Think about it. Do you think the type of people smart enough to point a laser at a police vehicle will learn not to from an article? They'll most likely forget about it in whole. If there's any chance of lessening the frequency of these incidents, all sale of laser pointers needs to be deemed illicit without a proper licensing or another form of qualification that comes with safety training.
Ok I hear you both but the article seems to say that he was more just randomly shooting it not aiming it at a police chopper and blasting away. Although I do see why this is serious, nothing dangerous actually happened as it seemed like they only saw the dot for a second or two and the chopper did not crash into a building. Perhaps a smaller fine as it does not seem like it was intentional?

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Old 07-09-2014, 08:37 PM #12
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Default Re: Laser Incident Close To Home

Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
Gabriel Soza Ruedas Jr., 25, admitted to a United States Magistrate Judge that he knowingly aimed the laser at the helicopter as it was on approach to land at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
It would appear he knew exactly what he was doing. I'll take his words before his mother's any day. His mother wasn't there, but he was, and he admitted to knowingly pointing at a helicopter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
“He was walking through a trail and found a laser and didn’t think anything of it, just like anyone else would see on the ground,” said Rita Young, Ruedas’ mother. “He picked it up and shined it around like, ‘What is this?’ And then next thing you know, Austin police is right there and came and asked, ‘Who has a laser here?’”
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:01 PM #13
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Default Re: Laser Incident Close To Home

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It would appear he knew exactly what he was doing. I'll take his words before his mother's any day. His mother wasn't there, but he was, and he admitted to knowingly pointing at a helicopter.
Yeah mom is lying for sure.
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:30 AM #14
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Default Re: Laser Incident Close To Home

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Originally Posted by BubonicCronic View Post
Ah...yes we do.




I was speaking metaphorically. I thought that was obvious. Sorry if you missed it.

Point remains he was intentionally shooting it at an aircraft and he got what he deserved. Being stupid is not a defense in this country.
I agree 100% even if he did not mean any harm he WAS deliberately aiming it at the helicopter he has admitted as much. And even if he is unaware of the laws he should still pay whatever penalty the judge decides as ignorance of laws is not a excuse.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:21 AM #15
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Default Re: Laser Incident Close To Home

Quote:
Originally Posted by BubonicCronic View Post
Ah...yes we do.




I was speaking metaphorically. I thought that was obvious. Sorry if you missed it.

Point remains he was intentionally shooting it at an aircraft and he got what he deserved. Being stupid is not a defense in this country.
Even with it being metaphorical, the magnitude of absurdity is so great that it it still seems blown out of proportion even for a theoretical situation. I find your complete lack of empathy disconcerting. Let's say you accidentally(I'm not saying his situation was accidental, I'm just using a rhetorical situation) shined a laser at a helicopter or plane and it's reported. The next day the feds come and lock you up for half a decade and fine you a quarter million dollars. Would you agree that you deserved the fine and sentence for shining a toy at an aircraft? FIVE YEARS in prison?! $250,000!? For shining a (probably crappy) laser at a helicopter!!? He deserves a punishment no doubt, but one that will make him learn (6 months $10,000 or something that hits hard but not ridiculous). The sentence he's receiving is only going to grow anger inside of him for five years and put him in debt. They're screwing his life over for shining a laser at something he shouldn't have.
Anyway, I'm done ranting I do not mean to be offensive, but only passionate about a position
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Old 07-15-2014, 03:57 AM #16
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Default Re: Laser Incident Close To Home

Ahem....


I say we kill him!
[shout] Yeah!

I say we hang him, *then* we kill him!

[shout] Yeah!

I say we stomp him!
[shout] Yeah!

Then we tattoo him!
[shout] Yeah!

Then we hang him...!
[shout] YEAH!'!


And THEN we kill him!
[shout] YEAH!'!'!

Pee-wee: [tries to throw voice without moving lips]


I say we let him go.

that's funny stuff

but what this guy did is not.

I am thinking they wanted the headlines to send a message
and have no intention of going for or getting the max.
No jury would go for that..

IF there had been a big hinderence- maybe yeah

IF an aborted landing (fixed wing)_ for sure

A crash that takes lives... there wil be no one asking for pity on the one with the laser. 'get a rope'

Am I the ONLY one who sees an easy way to protect all major airports very effectively and NOT at a great cost==

Cameras watching for any laser light- real people going after them at once. Doing thier job sitting in an airconditioned 'car' -

the danger is only at nitetime- do a LOT of flights land all night- not as many I bet, same deal with the damn dogs - do you know HOW MANY DOGS are out of work??

I say we hire a buttload of dog owners -- give thier dogs a 'Security dog' vest and pay them minimum to walk the airports-

Pot sniffing dogs?? gimmie a break- who needs a dog if it's the kind.??
if its bunk they deserve to keep it

why are ~10.000 $ being spent to train a pot dog-(6 to 10 years of use) most only do a few scents and NEVER both drugs AND bombs- explosives- C 4 guns etc etc
ONE dog doing that or finding lost kids- Alzheimer people lost etc is worth more to me than a hundred pot dogs-

Time wasted on something with small harm at worst would be better spent on Meth labs-


The fact is there are a Bazillion lasers already out there- so any bad guy can get one-- anytime 30,000 blank 12X30mm modules are sold worldwide each year by just ONE seller. & they have for many years


<any who saw those headlines linked=

will remember it pretty much forever but very few will read how this one ends - or remember it because it wil not be all that noteable.

The alleged offender's Mom reminds me of a MOM on 'Welcome Back Kotter'-- Juan brings a note to school signed by 'Juan's Mother'--

{BTW I am not a racist- so its only a coincidence that both are Espanic.}
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Last edited by hakzaw1; 07-15-2014 at 04:07 AM.
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