Old 07-04-2015, 06:57 AM #1
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Default Redditor shares story about how his family got into trouble...

...after accidentally shining a laser at a helicopter.

Interesting thread here: https://www.reddit.com/r/tifu/commen...inning_a_laser


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Old 07-04-2015, 07:14 AM #2
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Default Re: Redditor shares story about how his family got into trouble...

Thanks for sharing!

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Old 07-04-2015, 09:21 AM #3
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Default Re: Redditor shares story about how his family got into trouble...

I kinda doubt is this story is true or just made up. Even if there was some terrorist trying to bring down a plane with a laser a couple days before (if it really were a terrorist I doubt he'd use a laser if he really wanted to bring that plane down), I don't think shining that laser at the plane would've immediately given his location away. Let alone alert police within seconds of him poiting at the plane. This happened 10 years ago, and he mentions a silver metal green laser (likely a pen laser). I doubt this laser had been more powerful than 50mW, which you don't really see unless it's either pitch dark, or when standing behind it.


There's also a comment saying he got a letter in the mail telling him he could not receive a stylus that doubled as a laser that he purchased online. I mean, really? Do you think every package that gets sent to him is being checked on lasers?


He did write a whole story about it so it may be true, however I still doubt it.


Edit: In a comment he says this is the laser that it happened with. First off, it's black while he says he had a silver one (I don't think I've ever seen these in any other color than black and blue). And second, have these 301's even been around for 10 years already?
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Old 07-04-2015, 04:14 PM #4
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Default Re: Redditor shares story about how his family got into trouble...

Good points gozert. Seems fishy. A helicopter is noisy and a low altitude aircraft(compared to 32,000 feet of a commercial airliner) How the heck can you not know it is there. Police or military aircraft with the right equipment can instantly pinpoint the source location of a laser pointed at them but 10 years ago? Hmmmmm....
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Old 07-04-2015, 05:20 PM #5
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Default Re: Redditor shares story about how his family got into trouble...

Searching Google from 1/1/00 to 7/4/05 for 301 and 303 lasers doesn't yield many results. The only plausible ones are online shops that look like they have been updated recently. The mystery deepens.
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Old 07-04-2015, 05:25 PM #6
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Default Re: Redditor shares story about how his family got into trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laser Chick View Post
Good points gozert. Seems fishy. A helicopter is noisy and a low altitude aircraft(compared to 32,000 feet of a commercial airliner) How the heck can you not know it is there. Police or military aircraft with the right equipment can instantly pinpoint the source location of a laser pointed at them but 10 years ago? Hmmmmm....
According to the post, the OP was seven years old at the time. 7-year-olds don't have the same cognitive ability as adults. Also, some helicopters can fly up to 25,000 feet or more.
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Old 07-04-2015, 06:20 PM #7
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Default Re: Redditor shares story about how his family got into trouble...

The story does seem I little unlikely, but it does match with these articles:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/05/ny...-aircraft.html
Pricey green lasers are pranksters' choice / Jersey man accused of zapping pilots bought his online - SFGate
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/18/nyregion/18laser.html
USATODAY.com - N.J. man charged with aiming laser at aircraft
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Old 07-04-2015, 07:53 PM #8
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Default Re: Redditor shares story about how his family got into trouble...

Bottom line, not good.
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Old 07-06-2015, 02:55 AM #9
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Default Re: Redditor shares story about how his family got into trouble...

My cousin was pointing at a street light with a green laser having fun making it go off, then the police came and arrested him. A helicopter in the far horizon saw the beam and apparently, flew towards him to locate and call it in. I don't have the whole story, I just know this much and that he was on parole for a long time over it.
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Old 07-06-2015, 03:30 AM #10
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Default Re: Redditor shares story about how his family got into trouble...

The story sounds believable to me. Any Imbecile knows that here in the USA it doesn't take much to get you into trouble, however the story could be political, it could have been written just to make Chris Christie look like a bad guy, or look like the fat corrupt politician that he is. This man is a cross between Jabba The Hutt and the Baron Harkonnen, it would not have been good to be a victim of his when he was a prosecutor. I doubt he has the moral and ethical standards of the average person, but then again I think that of all politicians.

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Old 07-06-2015, 05:40 PM #11
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Default Re: Redditor shares story about how his family got into trouble...

Very interesting story.

Just some interesting bits that stuck with me;

Quote:
David Banach, 38, a fiber optics technician
Quote:
The lawyer for Mr. Banach said had he used a Jasper laser pen, a midrange or Class 3a laser with a strength of up to five milliwatts, which he had bought online for about $100.
Quote:
The man, David W. Banach, 39, of Parsippany, N.J., could have faced up to 20 years in prison under the Patriot Act but reached a plea deal in which prosecutors agreed not to pursue charges that he lied about his actions when questioned by federal agents.
Quote:
After a lengthy interrogation that included a polygraph test, however, he admitted that "he had lied to law enforcement," the complaint states, and that he had shined the laser on the helicopter and on the Cessna. Both were flying at about 3,000 feet. The Cessna was approaching Teterboro Airport, about 25 miles from Mr. Banach's home, at the time of the incident.
The guy most likely knew a bit about lasers.
Christie was trying to make a name for himself.

One very important detail. At the end they determined that this guy was not a terrorist, but they still wanted to make a sacrificial lamb out of him. The way they did this was not related to lasers, but to the fact that he lied.

It is illegal to lie to law enforcement. It's a screwed up system, but the fact of the matter is if you lie to a federal agent, you can be face up to 20 years in prison.

Not defending his actions, but in light of the ridiculous prosecution, bear this in mind;

NEVER EVER TALK TO COPS. Not regular cops, and especially not to any kind of federal agents. If you do, if you mislead them, lie openly, or even commit a lie of omission, you leave yourself open to prosecution from some sleazeball that cares nothing for justice.

If cops need something from you, they can send you a court ordered subpoena. If they need to search you, or your property, they can get a warrant.

Had this man kept his mouth shut, odds are his life would not have been turned upside down, and his daughter wouldn't still be crying about it 10 years later.
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Old 07-06-2015, 05:44 PM #12
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Default Re: Redditor shares story about how his family got into trouble...

Quote:
Originally Posted by InfinitusEquitas View Post
It is illegal to lie to law enforcement. It's a screwed up system, but the fact of the matter is if you lie to a federal agent, you can be face up to 20 years in prison.

Not defending his actions, but in light of the ridiculous prosecution, bear this in mind;

NEVER EVER TALK TO COPS. Not regular cops, and especially not to any kind of federal agents. If you do, if you mislead them, lie openly, or even commit a lie of omission, you leave yourself open to prosecution from some sleazeball that cares nothing for justice.

If cops need something from you, they can send you a court ordered subpoena. If they need to search you, or your property, they can get a warrant.

Had this man kept his mouth shut, odds are his life would not have been turned upside down, and his daughter wouldn't still be crying about it 10 years later.
It doesn't sound like he lied to them until the end. From the story it sounds like it was either maintain his innocence and go to jail or lie and plea guilty to stay with his family.
Quote:
Eventually he cracked and "confessed" to both crimes. [Edit: My father took a plea bargain option, but it was undoubtedly because of the stress of the entire thing. I'm sure he would have stuck it out and tried to have went with the innocent option, but it was one of those "if you confess you don't go to jail" kind of things.
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Old 07-06-2015, 06:14 PM #13
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Default Re: Redditor shares story about how his family got into trouble...

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It doesn't sound like he lied to them until the end. From the story it sounds like it was either maintain his innocence and go to jail or lie and plea guilty to stay with his family.
Without knowing the actual statute he was charged under I could be reading into it what's not there, but to me it seems like they used an inconsistency in his statements as the fulcrum to force him to plead guilty.

Specifically that he initially said his daughter shined the laser at the helicopter, but then later admitted to having done it himself, and on other occasions.

So he was left with two options - go to trial, and get nailed to the wall if he lost, or plead guilty, and take probation.

Aside: This is what's so scary about the US "justice" system. Prosecutors force decisions like this on people all the time. Plead guilty, get probation, or stay in jail, while the trial goes on, for years sometimes, and risk a guilty verdict along with a harsh sentence when it's all over. Most people literally have no choice but to take the plea.
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