GENEVA Co., Ala. (WDHN) . Geneva County officials say they have received additional calls from a person or persons shining lasers at military helicopters flying over rural areas.
Following a joint operation with the Geneva and Dale county sheriff’s offices, along
with state officials, Kevin Neslund, of Slocomb was arrested outside of his home on county road 9 south of Slocomb. He is accused of allegedly shining a green laser pointer at Ft. Rucker helicopters.
Neslund would be charged with interference in a governmental operation and resisting arrest and later released from jail.
F.A.A. investigators will determine if the suspect will face federal charges.
When a laser is shined at a pilot, it can cause disorientation. That’s especially the case if they’re wearing night vision goggles.
Sheriff Tony Helms says “actually one of my investigators was able to get a video of seeing the green light flash. As soon as he did, they started making their way toward the residence as the helicopter came closer as they did our suspect Mr. Neslund started running. They were able to capture him. He had a flashlight and this laser on him.”
Sheriff Helms says he’s working with the federal aviation administration as far as possible additional charges against the suspect.
The sheriff adds “God forbid it would be a passenger plane loaded with civilians.”
In addition to military helicopters, Sheriff Helms worries a person can shine a laser in the cockpit of a commercial airliner and temporarily blind the pilot.
Sheriff Helms says when they attempted to question Kevin Neslund concerning
the laser incidents. The Slocomb man invoked his 5th Constitutional Amendment
and declined to answer.
The sheriff says there have been similar laser flash incidents reported outside of Samson.