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Alabama man charged with shining laser, spotlight at military aircraft

Dale County Sheriff's Office Aviation Unit (Carol Robinson | [email protected]/TNS)

A Dale County man has been arrested after authorities say he was shining a laser and high-powered spotlight at military aircraft near a south Alabama airfield.

The Dale County Sheriff’s Office responded at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday to a report of someone shining the laser and spotlight at military aircraft operating in and around Cairns Army Airfield, said Dale County Chief Deputy Mason Bynum. “The subject was shining a high-powered spotlight into the cockpits of the aircraft as they were in the traffic pattern outside of Cairns Airfield,” Bynum said.

The sheriff’s office then launched its own Aviation Unit to try to find the suspect. While the DCSO helicopter was on final approach for the airfield, the crew was hit with a bright spotlight illuminating the cockpit.

The helicopter crew took immediate action, Bynum said, and located the suspect behind a residence near the airfield. The pilot landed the aircraft near the suspect’s residence as the suspect fled on foot.

The Tactical Flight Officer jumped out of the helicopter began to chase the suspect on foot into a wooded area. The TFO Deputy took the suspect in to custody and he was turned over to deputies on the ground.

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Jacob Moseley is charged with obstructing governmental operations. He was booked into the Dale County Jail and has since posted bond. Investigators said they do not yet know a motive in the suspect’s actions.

Bynum said the case has been referred to the FAA and the FBI for further investigation and prosecution.

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