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CHP arrests Nipomo man for pointing laser beam at aerial crew during operation

Posted at 4:36 PM, Mar 03, 2020

CHP officials arrested a man in Nipomo Friday night on suspicion of pointing a laser beam at an airplane crew during a multi-agency operation in south San Luis Obispo County.

Officials say in a press release that the aerial crew was flying over the Nipomo area shortly after 9:30 p.m. when a high powered green laser struck the aircraft multiple times.

The pilot changed course to minimize the impact of the laser to the flight crew, said CHP officials.

The crew later located the source of the laser at a residence on the 600 block of Southland Street in Nipomo, according to the press release.

CHP and allied agency patrol units responded to the home to investigate, during which officials say they recovered the laser and arrested 51-year-old Zammy Castellanos.

Officials are reminding the community that pointing any type of laser at an aircraft in motion can cause injury and may seriously hinder the pilot's ability to safely control the aircraft.

CHP says doing so is a felony and a federal offense which may result in imprisonment for a maximum of five years and a $25,000 fine.