Prison ordered for man who flashed laser at medical helicopter i - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Prison ordered for man who flashed laser at medical helicopter in Boardman

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -

A Boardman man who originally avoided being locked up for flashing a laser light at a medical helicopter landing at a Valley hospital, has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for a probation violation.

A federal judge on Wednesday handed down the sentence to 37-year-old Travis Krzysztofiak.

The 37-year-old man was still on probation for aiming the beam of a laser pointer at the helicopter as it approached Akron Children's Hospital in Boardman in June of 2013.

In 2014 Krzysztofiak pleaded guilty to violating a provision of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 that makes it a federal offense to shine a laser pointer at an aircraft or it's flight path.

The statute was enacted in response to a growing number of incidents of pilots being distracted or even temporarily blinded by laser beams.

In addition to being placed on probation for three years, Krzysztofiak's original sentence subjected him to nine months home monitoring and required him to perform 200 hours community service.

He was also required to submit to regular drug and alcohol testing and take part in a detoxification program.

Court records to not indicate the nature of Krzysztofiak's probation violation.

In a similar case from 2014, a Trumbull County judge sentenced Nicholas Vecchiarelli to probation after the Hubbard man pleaded guilty to interfering with aircraft by aiming a green laser light at a helicopter being used by a camera crew from a Cleveland television station.

Vecchiarelli confessed to police after they found him pacing in his driveway with a police scanner and a green laser pointer.

A camera operator from a Cleveland television station told police that he saw the laser light several times as his helicopter flew over the Hubbard area.

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