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Chopper 2 Struck By Laser Over Brooklyn; Other Stations' Helicopters Also Hit

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The most recent case of people pointing lasers at aircraft hit close to home for CBS2 Wednesday.

Chopper 2 was flying over a scene late Wednesday afternoon in Park Slope, Brooklyn, when Chopper 2's Joe Biermann saw a green laser bounce around several times inside the cockpit.

An NYPD helicopter responded.

"When we were looking there, we got lasered," Biermann said. "(At the same time), the NYPD was right next to us, so they hovered above the place – a green laser."

The pilots for the news helicopters for two other local stations – WNBC-NBC4 and WABC-ABC7 – also reported laser strikes Wednesday evening, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The WNBC helicopter was hit around 5 p.m. near the Barclays Center and close to where Chopper 2 was hovering at the time, while the WABC helicopter was near Newark Liberty International Airport around 5:20 p.m. when its pilot was also struck, the FAA said.

The NBC4 pilot notified the tower at LaGuardia Airport, who in turn notified the NYPD Aviation Unit, police said. Police traced the laser to the rear at 925 Fulton St. in Brooklyn, where two people were taken into custody, police said.

A third person was taken into custody in New Jersey, WCBS 880's Alex Silverman reported.

Charges were pending and the investigation was ongoing, police said.

Pointing a laser at an aircraft is a federal crime, punishable by thousands of dollars in fines or even prison time. Last year, a California man was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

Twelve flight crews reported being hit by laser beams over the area in one night in July. Five more flight crews reported similar incidents six days later.

The FAA said so far this year, there have been 5,000 reports of aircraft hit by lasers across the country.

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