crime

Man arrested for shining spotlight on police copter

26 Comments

Police in Kanagawa Prefecture have arrested an unemployed 41-year-old man for shining a spotlight on a police helicopter and disrupting the pilot's vision on Thursday night.

According to police, Yuji Abe has been charged with interfering with police operations. TV Asahi reported Saturday that after the helicopter pilot contacted officers on the ground and relayed the approximate location where the light was coming from.

Abe has denied the charge, police said. There has been a series of similar incidents involving U.S. military patrol helicopters, and police are questioning Abe about those incidents, as well.

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26 Comments
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Jesus, are there any crimes not committed by "(Taro) an unemployed ( ) year old?" Just make sure everyone's employed and Japan's crime rate will go down to zero.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

May be he thought that was a US helicopter ... !! Unemployed lucky with fixed address ...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

charged with interfering with police operations.

Bit of a vague charge isn't it?

Technically, I guess if you ask an officer any question, like "Excuse me, where is the nearest bank" or "May I have your badge number please" they can charge you with interfering with police operations.

Pointing flashlight into the sky shouldn't be a crime.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

@Burning, I just thought it is a crime. What if the vision of the pilot was misled and a crash happened? So really there was an interference. While mere asking for directions from a Policeman who is on patrol may seem to be interference too, but one on patrol's duty is help citizen in distress. We ought to clarify the intention and the word interference.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Pointing flashlight into the sky shouldn't be a crime.

It isn't. This person was shining a spotlight (MUCH brighter than an average flashlight) at a helicopter. Not just some guy waving around a flashlight at night. That could've caused a very serious accident.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What if the vision of the pilot was misled and a crash happened?

So if the same spotlight had hit a commercial or private helicopter, what would the charge be?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Burning Bush at May. 18, 2014 - 09:49AM JST "What if the vision of the pilot was misled and a crash happened?

So if the same spotlight had hit a commercial or private helicopter, what would the charge be?"

Attempted murder would do it for me.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Educator60 That would be called reckless endangerment.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Shining a spotlight on a Police 'copter certainly wasn't a bright idea for this chap.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Usually it's the police helicopter that shines the spotlight.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So where did he get the money for a "spotlight"? THose cost about 500 to 20k U.S.! people are strange!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So where did he get the money for a "spotlight"? THose cost about 500 to 20k U.S.! people are strange!

It might've been a handheld one. You can get them as cheap as US$50 and they are VERY bright! Google it.

My guess? Boredom. Curiosity. Too much alcohol. Could be any of those. I'd like to think that he just didn't realize the gravity of the situation, not that he was trying to bring the helicopter down.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The article states that he used sootlight. Unemployed (Mushoku) does not mean he has no income. He must have his own business such as robbery, thief, etc to invest in spotlight. If he was caught doing this to none-police copter, still charged as crime.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sounds like complete BS, how could a light affect a chopper? If the chopper was 10 meters from the guy okay, but seriously this is complete crap

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@gogogo: Sounds like complete BS, how could a light affect a chopper? If the chopper was 10 meters from the guy okay, but seriously this is complete crap

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Have you ever tested a spotlight?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

A somewhat similar incident occurred in Hollywood about 20 years ago. A police copter overflew a nighttime film shoot and while hovering nearby used its spotlight to check on the production crew activities for several minutes. One of the grips on the shoot eventually (and stupidly) aimed a higher intensity mounted spotlight back at the aircraft. The grip was arrested and faced numerous charges the least serious of which was interfering with police business. At preliminary hearings the rookie police pilot acknowledged failing to identify the copter as a police unit - and the production company established that all necessary permits for the shoot where filed in good order. The defendant grip agreed to a lesser charge and paid a nominal fine.

Shining a bright light towards any moving vehicle puts the operator, passengers and public in peril and should be prosecuted as criminal assault. I'm guessing that Abe san will eventually "confess"; and need to think of another way to amuse to himself at night.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sounds like complete BS, how could a light affect a chopper? If the chopper was 10 meters from the guy okay, but seriously this is complete crap

Yes, because shining a light into the eyes of someone piloting/driving a machine that is airborne, weighs thousands a pounds, and is filled with flammable fuel is no big deal right? Temporarily blinding the pilot of something that large shouldn't be a crime, I can shine my flashlight at whatever I want!

/sarcasm

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I saw this story on the news. It wasn't a giant 'spotlight' as we would imagine a spotlight. It was actually just a red heavy duty LED flashlight. The type that has a handle on top and perhaps 4 'D' size batteries. Japanese people often call flashlights spotlights.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have a feeling it was a laser and it has been done in the west also, they can cause permanent blind spots if your hit in the eye and sometimes total blindness in the eye.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The picture of the "spotlight" is widely available on the internet, it's a 1000 yen battery operated flashlight.

Yet people drive around with high beams on, distracting other drivers and that's fine.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm sure there's a law that states, "Intentional disruption of an aircraft's operation" whether military, civil, or commercial is what this guy can be charged with. It can be interpreted in many ways. The guy shouldn't have done something so stupid.

It can be dangerous to attempt to blind the pilot of an aircraft in flight, no matter what device one uses. Kids in America used laser pointers at approaching commercial aircraft at some airports. That is extremely reckless behavior.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

what are they doing flying so low at night in the first place?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

May be he thought that a US helicopter...

Maybe.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So where did he get the money for a "spotlight"? THose cost about 500 to 20k U.S.! people are strange!

www.amazon.co.jp so many lights there very bright! got mine for 3000yen only! :D

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Ken KitsuneMAY. 19, 2014 - 06:40PM JST

So where did he get the money for a "spotlight"? THose cost about 500 to 20k U.S.! people are strange! www.amazon.co.jp so many lights there very bright! got mine for 3000yen only! :D

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Ken: are you talking about flashlight that you can get from Amazon? This topic is about spotlight, not cheap flashlight.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Pointing flashlight into the sky shouldn't be a crime.

1.) It wasn't a "flashlight", it was a "spotlight". MUCH brighter.

2.) Shining ANY light into the cockpit of an aircraft while it is airborne can destroy the pilot's night vision. Once destroyed, it can take up to 10 minutes before the night vision is restored. During that time the pilot is literally "flying blind".

3.) I'm a private pilot so I may be a bit biased on the matter, but this guy should be charged with the legal definition of "assault" for causing the pilot to fear he was about to meet with bodily harm (by striking something he couldn't see).

"Book 'im, Danno!"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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