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Philadelphia Man Sentenced For Shining Laser Beam At Chopper 3 HD

By Gabriella Sacidor, Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A Philadelphia man was sentenced on Wednesday after pleading guilty to shining a laser beam at Chopper 3 HD (see related story).

Daniel F. Dangler, 30, admitted to using the laser, purchased on the Wildwood boardwalk, and shining it at a TV helicopter, but he said he didn't intend to hurt anyone.

Fortunately, in this case, there were no injuries, but cameraman Alasdair Nugent says shining lasers at aircrafts is extremely dangerous; pilots can be momentarily blinded. In this case the cockpit lit up green. Nugent says he feared for his life.

"From my point of view, not only is my life in danger, my pilot, but it is the catastrophic consequences of an aircraft falling out of the air. Housing down below and the innocent women and children below. We carry 120 gallons of volatile fuel that can ignite upon hitting the ground. It's horrifying," says Nugent.

Dangler was sentenced to three months in jail followed by seven months of home confinement.  He was also ordered three years of supervised release.

The incident happened on July 18, 2012.  Chopper 3 HD was on assignment flying over Northeast Philadelphia when a laser pointer was aimed at the helicopter, endangering the pilot and cameraman aboard (see related story).

The FAA also has a civil case pending against Dangler.  He could be fined up to $11,000.

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