HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A 47-year-old man “wanted to be taken to jail” after authorities said he was caught shining a laser pointer at Hernando County deputies patrolling in a helicopter overhead.
According to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, an aerial unit was flying in the area of Commercial Way and County Line Road in Spring Hill Saturday around 2 a.m. when the aircraft was struck by a green laser.
Using the helicopter’s onboard cameras, the crew was able to determine the laser pointer was being fired from behind the Circle K convenience store located at 16200 County Line Road, Spring Hill in Pasco County.
As the crew directed patrol deputies to the store, the suspect continued to fire the laser at the aircraft, a release from the sheriff’s office said.
The suspect then fled on an all-terrain vehicle and attempted to hide in a cluster of trees. Unbeknownst to the suspect, trees do not obstruct the cameras used by the sheriff’s office aerial unit.
After deputies were directed to the suspect’s location, they found 47-year-old David Dean.
Authorities said Dean denied firing the laser at the aircraft, telling authorities another man on a bike was responsible for shining the laser. However, the flight crew confirmed they never lost sight of Dean, monitoring him continuously until patrol deputies arrived at his location.
As deputies searched Dean, they found a baggie containing a substance weighing 8.5 grams that field-tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine.
Dean told deputies the substance was not his.
Deputies also found a backpack near Dean and the ATV.
Inside the backpack, deputies found an ID belonging to Dean, a laser light, and a green leafy substance. The substance, weighing 1.5 grams, field tested positive for cannabis. Upon turning on the laser, it displayed a green light.
Deputies asked Dean about the laser. Dean stated, he was “just messing around” and “wanted to be taken to jail.”
Dean was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, and pointing laser light at driver or pilot.