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Local Man Sentenced For Shining Laser Light At Philadelphia Police Copter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A 22-year-old Philadelphia man with no previous criminal record has been sentenced to a year and a half in federal prison for flashing a green laser light at a Philadelphia police helicopter in June 2009.

It’s unclear whether defendant Lenny Tavarez knew it was a police helicopter, or that his actions had the potential of causing a crash.

But the result was the same. Police lieutenant Anthony Ginaldi says he suffered flash blindness and lost control of the aircraft until fellow officer Chris Clemens took control as they flew over a residential neighborhood of the city.

Last month, another Pennsylvania man was sentenced for shining a laser at the same two helicopter pilots (see related story).

“It’s critical to have two qualified pilots on the aircraft at all times,” says Ginaldi. “We have the luxury of having that. If it wasn’t for Chris — like it was in the previous incident, if it wasn’t for Chris or another qualified pilot in the aircraft — this could have been an absolute catastrophe.”

The defendant has been ordered to report to federal custody in two weeks.

Reported by Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio 1060

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  • A haberland

    so the days of Rizzo’s raiders is not yet gone?

  • Moving out of Philly

    I say look no further than the Philly Cop if you want to find someone deserving federal prison. This case is an outrage. Philly cops are among the dirtiest police in the country, dealing drugs, strong arm tactics, illegal activity…I don’t believe anything they say.

    • Moving out of Philly

      You have spoken like a true liberal voting Philly Cop williejoe. Ignorance abounds from the mouths of fools. You have played your cards accordingly. That GED education has done well for you.

  • Odie1022

    18 months in a federal prison…no prior record….yeah, that’s fair.

  • missdisplaced

    Your mother always told you not to do that!

    • Zzbar

      He didn’t remember that one. So many other things she told him, no drugs, no drinking, no robberies, etc.

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