A drunken man pointed a laser light at a sheriff’s helicopter before firing shots from his backyard. The incident took place in Merritt Island, Florida, on Sunday (April 19).

According to an arrest report, the man, identified as 59-year-old James Burrows, pointed laser light at a Brevard County Sheriff’s helicopter while it was flying over his home. The man then held a rifle in the same position until the magazine ejected. He then fired three to four rounds of ammunition in his backyard. The bullets struck the wooden fence and pierced through it before flying outside the backyard.

Officers responded to his home after receiving reports of gunshots being fired. Upon arrival, the officers found the man in the backyard with a .22 caliber long rifle. When questioned, the accused told the officers that he knew what he did under the influence of alcohol was wrong.

Burrows then claimed that he had a heart condition. He was taken to a nearby hospital before eventually being taken into custody. He was charged with multiple offenses including assault on a law enforcement officer and pointing a laser light at a driver or pilot. He was also charged with discharging a firearm in public or in a residential property and the use of a firearm under the influence of alcohol. He was being held at the Brevard County Jail without bond.

In a similar case in California earlier this year, a man was arrested for pointing a blue laser light at a highway patrol plane. The man, identified as 33-year-old Christopher Larsen, aimed the laser at the aircraft. It went on to strike the pilot in the eye. The pilot managed to control the aircraft as the autopilot system was active. The suspect was taken into custody and charged with intentionally interfering with CHP air operations. He was booked at the Solano County jail.

In another incident in January, a Florida man pointed laser lights at planes landing at the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. The man, identified as 41-year-old Charlie Chapman Jr., pointed laser lights at planes. It also struck a pilot, causing temporary blindness. The accused was taken into custody and charged.

Representational image of a handcuff. Pixabay