DENVER — A Denver man was in court and facing a federal indictment Thursday, accused of pointing a laser at a Denver Police helicopter on multiple occasions.
Nathan James Finneman, 26, allegedly aimed a laser beam at a Denver Police helicopter twice on on April 19, 2013 and once the following day.
Apparently thanks to technology on board the helicopter, known as “Air One,” police said they were able to track the source of the laser to Finneman.
Details about the process of locating Finneman as the source of the laser were not disclosed by police nor the Colorado U.S. Attorney’s Office, though it was reported that the FBI was involved in the investigation.
If convicted, Finneman faces up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine, charges that Colorado U.S. Attorney John Walsh says fit the crime the 26-year-old is accused of.
“Pointing a laser at the pilot of a helicopter or airplane not only puts the pilot and passengers of the aircraft at risk, it exposes the public on the ground to the danger of an emergency landing or even a crash,” Walsh said. “What might seem like a harmless prank is far from it — laser blinding of pilots is a serious and dangerous crime that we will prosecute.”
FOX31 Denver interviewed Finneman during the widespread flooding across the state a year ago. Finneman and another pilot shot footage of the flood damage in Longmont from their power paragliders.
Finneman is also active on social media, posting the following video on Facebook that shows him picking up a homeless man in his Jaguar convertible and taking him out to dinner at Subway.