Pasco sheriff’s helicopter pilot lands, detains shirtless laser pointer suspect

Pasco County

PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Port Richey man, who deputies say was pointing a laser at the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office helicopter, wound up behind bars after the PCSO pilot landed the agency’s helicopter and helped take him into custody on Tuesday night.

Around 10:50 p.m, the PCSO helicopter was dispatched to help with a call about a barricaded suspect at 7515 Ironbark Dr. in Port Richey.

The helicopter was over the house where the suspect was barricaded and was providing cover for the deputies who were preparing to enter the suspect’s home, when the suspect aimed a laser pointer at the chopper.

The suspect aiming the laser was blinding the pilot and causing a hazard while interfering with the mission of the helicopter, according to the sheriff’s office.

The pilot was forced to stop providing cover for the deputies and address the issue about the laser.

Pilot Stephen Bowman noticed a parking lot about 1/4 mile from the suspect’s location. The parking lot was large enough to safely land the helicopter.

Pilot Bowman landed the helicopter and walked over to the suspect’s residence where he detained the suspect.

Patrol units responded to the location and took over the arrest and transport of the suspect, Ryan Fluke, 27, who was arrested for misuse of laser lighting devices.

Arrest documents say Fluke is employed as a bartender at Gill Dog Marina in Port Richey.


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