Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Feds Defer Prosecution Against Man Accused of Pointing Laser at Police Helicopter

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    Federal officials have opted to defer prosecution in a court case against a man accused of pointing a green laser at a Westchester County police helicopter during a Fourth of July celebration in Valhalla last year.

    The charges against Philip Avery Putter will be dismissed if he complies with certain terms of a six-month period, including refraining from breaking the law and not leaving New York or New Jersey without notifying his U.S. Pretrial Services Officer.

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    Putter had been accused of twice pointing a powerful green laser at the police helicopter, temporarily blinding the pilot and co-pilot as they operated the aircraft above a crowd of about 10,000 people.

    No injuries were reported, but the pilot said he had been temporarily blinded by the laser.

    The pilots radioed police on the ground, who found Putter with the laser, prosecutors said. Putter allegedly asked a police sergeant on the scene if he could have his laser back because it’s “expensive.”

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