Columbus man charged with shooting laser at police helicopters

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A Columbus man was arrested this past weekend after he allegedly aimed a green laser at Columbus and state patrol helicopters several times this month.

James Rhodes, 36, of Whitethorne Avenue in Columbus, was arrested Saturday at his home.

According to Columbus Police, Rhodes hit an Ohio State Highway Patrol helicopter with a green laser in the early morning hours Saturday.

OSHP said they recorded video of the laser coming from the area of Whitethorne Avenue and Sullivant Avenue. The laser was coming from the upstairs back window of a white house in the area, OSHP reported.

OSHP’s helicopter had to leave the area for several minutes when a Columbus Police helicopter responded to a call in the area. OSHP said that when their helicopter returned to the area, it was struck several more times by the laser coming from the same area.

Columbus Police said plainclothes and uniformed officers responded to the area on Whitethorne Avenue, and with the help of the still-hovering OSHP helicopter, identified the house where the laser was coming from.

Police allegedly found a green laser in Rhodes’ possession inside the home.

According to police, Rhodes admitted to shining the laser at the helicopter several times.

Rhodes has been charged with interfering with the operation of an aircraft.

According to court documents, Columbus Police helicopters have been hit multiple times by a green laser in the area since July 7.

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