Law Enforcement Offers Reward For Those Aiming Lasers At Aircraft

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

The deliberate targeting of aircraft by lasers has increased over 1,000 percent in the last eight years.  Directing lasers at an airplane or helicopter can temporarily blind a pilot and creates a real safety risk for everyone on board and people on the ground, said officials.  In 2013, there were almost 4,000 reported laser strikes; an average of 11 incidents a day.  Improvements in technology and the availability of low cost lasers have contributed to the problem.    

In 2012, due to the risks associated with an increase in these types of incidents, the President signed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which included a provision making it a federal felony to aim a laser pointer at an aircraft.  This crime carries a penalty of up to five years in federal prison.  In addition, a civil fine of $11,000 can be imposed for Interference with a Flight Crew.   

Pursuant to a national public awareness campaign, for the next 90 days, a reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of individuals aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft.  The Knoxville FBI office, in collaboration with the FAA, Department of Homeland Security (including the Transportation Security Administration [TSA] and the Federal Air Marshals), Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority, Blount County Sheriff’s Office, Alcoa Police Department, and the McGhee Tyson Air National Guard are tracking these incidents locally and will investigate reported violations of these statutes. 

Laser incidents directed at aircraft may be reported to the FBI, the local law enforcement agency, or by calling 911.  



Coffee County Death Row Inmate Dies At State Prison

Death Row inmate Gregory Thompson has died at the age of 52. He was pronounced dead at 5:40 p.m. on Thursday at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville.  Thompson died of natural causes.  Thompson was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death for the murder of a female newspaper reporter, 28-year-old Brenda Blanton Lane. She ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BAILEY, SHARMINEY 7598 W HWY 136 CHICHAMAUGA, 30707 24 Chattanooga AGGRAVATED ROBBERY CRIMINAL IMPERSONATION BOLES, BRANDON LEE 422 SANDALWOOD DRIVE HIXSON, 37343 22 Hamilton County DOMESTIC ASSAULT VANDALISM/MALICIOUS MISCHIEF CAISSIE, HOLLI AMANDA 78 FALLBROOK LANE RINGGOLD, ... (click for more)

Lawlessness At Heritage Park

As a frequent visitor at Heritage Park in East Brainerd, I must say that the situation is becoming slightly out of control.  To start, parking is atrocious.  The unpaved lot contains nothing but loose gravel which has naturally given way to divots in the ground assuring you a few bumps.  Why isn't this area smoothed out?  It's not worth parking there anyways ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A ‘Black Friday’ Poem

On this, “Black Friday,” when frantic shopping and crowded aisles cause some nerves to wear thin, please allow me to share a poem a friend sent me not long ago called “Shoes in Church.” Perhaps it will be fitting: SHOES IN CHURCH I showered and shaved. I adjusted my tie. I got there and sat In a pew just in time. Bowing my head in prayer, as I closed my eyes. I saw ... (click for more)

Alcoa Run Game Has Notre Dame's Attention In 3A Semis

Notre Dame defensive lineman Robert Murphy has a good handle on what defending Class 3A champion Alcoa is likely to do against the Irish in Friday night’s semifinal playoff game at Finley Stadium. Game time is 7 p.m. “We know their running game is very powerful,” Murphy said. “They like to pound the ball and run it down your throat.” That’s exactly what the top-ranked ... (click for more)

UTC Men Defeat Coastal Carolina,78-67

UTC’s Ronrico White is use to pre-game shoot arounds, but Wednesday’s “almost midnight madness practice” 14 hours prior to tipoff against Coastal Carolina was out of the ordinary but highly effective. “My shooting touch was off (2 for 14 in the last three games) so Coach Wes Long called a shoot around for late last night and we made some adjustments in my technique and it paid ... (click for more)