As part of a federal crackdown, this week 19-year-old Adam Gardenhire was sentenced to 30 months in prison for shining a laser pointer at two aircraft. Gardenhire was arrested in March of 2012 for aiming a green laser at a private plane landing at Burbank airport, and then at a police helicopter that arrived to investigate. According to the police report, the beam struck the airplane pilot's eye multiple times, causing impairment through to the following day. The helicopter pilot was wearing protective eyegear and was unaffected.
Gardenhire is been charged under a new law signed last year that makes it a federal crime to deliberately point a laser pointer at an aircraft. The FAA reports over 3,000 laser-pointer attacks each year, but this is only the second case to be successfully prosecuted under the new statute.