Author Topic: Bakersfield man sentenced for pointing laser at KCSO helicopter  (Read 4174 times)

Online KB4TEZ

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(should have been harsher in my opinion)

The Bakersfield Californian
Mon, April 10, 2023 at 9:03 PM EDT·1 min read
Apr. 10—A Bakersfield man was sentenced Monday for shining a laser at a Kern County Sheriff's Office helicopter and causing an airman to experience temporary loss of vision, which is a growing problem in Bakersfield, federal prosecutors said.

Richard Earl Francis, 51, was sentenced to one month in prison, to be followed by 11 months of home detention and three years of supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California.

Francis pointed a bright green laser four times into a helicopter cockpit on July 28 while the sheriff's helicopter patrolled Oildale, a news release said. The defendant also previously pleaded guilty to knowingly aiming a laser at an aircraft in December.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office clarified that Francis was sentenced to 30 days in custody in addition to the 71 days of custody he has already served.

In 2022, an average of three laser-pointing incidents per month were reported in Bakersfield to the Federal Aviation Administration, according to the release.