Cleveland Police, FBI looking for suspects who fired laser strikes against helicopters

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This is not a science fiction story. 

This is real.

The Cleveland Police and the FBI are seeking information regarding two recent laser strikes, one against a Cleveland Division of Police Helicopter and one against a MetroHealth Life helicopter.

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Both of these laser strikes occurred on July 4, 2017 at approximately 10:15 p.m from the 3000 block of West 31st Street in Cleveland. 

Here's why the laser beams are a problem: Pilots can be distracted or temporarily flashblinded by the light from a laser beam. The light often is a large light at aviation distances, unlike the tiny dot a laser makes at close range.

Individuals often do not realize that traveling over hundreds of feet a tiny 2 centimeter laser beam spreads to become approximately 6 feet of light that can block a pilot’s vision. Most laser strike incidents reported occur at flights under 10,000 feet with the highest percentage being altitudes under 6,000 feet.

If you have any knowledge of the laser strikes that occurred last week, please call the Cleveland Division of the FBI at 216-522-1400. Tips can remain anonymous and reward money is available for the successful identification and prosecution of the individual(s) responsible for these laser strikes.