Lincoln man arrested for pointing laser at copter
LINCOLN - A man has been arrested for pointing a laser light at a Nebraska State Patrol helicopter several times as it was in flight over the city of Lincoln. That's a federal offense and any laser strike constitutes an in-flight emergency.
At around 10:00 p.m. Friday, NSP pilots launched from the Lincoln Airport to assist the Lincoln Police Department with an operation. Shortly after, while flying west of downtown Lincoln, the pilots reported a laser strike on the helicopter. The pilots immediately reported the incident to Lincoln Air Traffic Control.
While searching for the origin of the laser, the pilots reported additional laser strikes on the aircraft. They were then able to identify the source ...a person walking on a path near Salt Creek, south of West O Street. The pilots directed state troopers and Lincoln Police officers to the suspect's location.
Troopers located him just south of West O Street on the Salt Creek Levee Trail. The man was found to be in possession of a laser pointer and was taken into custody without incident.
42-year-old Lee Cimfel, of Lincoln, was lodged in Lancaster County Jail for second degree assault. The NSP reported the laser strike to the Federal Aviation Administration.