Deputies used a Taser to subdue a man who swung a hammer toward them after he pointed a laser at aircraft at Sarasota Bradenton Airport on Wednesday night, authorities said.
Charlie James Chapman Jr., 41, shot his laser pointer toward a fixed wing plane four times and toward a sheriff’s helicopter once, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.
One pilot said the laser hit him directly in the eyes, causing temporary blindness and lingering blurred vision.
Chapman made a “striking motion” toward deputies with a hammer after they arrived to investigate and found him on a forklift, the sheriff’s office said.
Video from a sheriff’s helicopter also shows a man appearing to throw objects at the aircraft.
Chapman was charged with aggravated assault on an officer, pointing a laser at a pilot with injury, pointing a laser at a pilot without injury and resisting without violence.
The incident was reported at about 7:40 p.m. Wednesday.
The affected aircraft were making their approach to land when the pilots reported the laser strikes.
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