FBI seeking Delta Air Lines laser attack suspect from Elmhurst


| lguerre@queenscourier.com |

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre
THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

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The FBI is seeking help to identify the perpetrator behind a laser attack, which caused flash blindness and disrupted the vision of a Delta Air Lines pilot on Tuesday.

As the plane was approaching LaGuardia Airport to land just before 8 p.m., a green beam that came from Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst entered the cockpit twice, the FBI said.

The injured pilot continued to experience pain in his right eye for a while after the attacks.

“Laser incidents are often viewed as harmless. This couldn’t be further from the truth,” FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos said. “Our paramount concern is the safety of aircraft passengers, and we are asking anyone who knows anything to contact us.”

There have been various laser attacks that caused injury in pilots recently.

On January 25, a beam that originated from Staten Island blinded a United Airlines pilot as the flight was approaching LaGuardia Airport.

In another incident on December 26, 2013, a JetBlue pilot experience blurry vision for more than a week after being blinded by a laser while approaching JFK Airport.

Laser beam strikes targeting in-bound planes have increased 39 percent in the city, the FBI said recently. The number of incidents jumped to 99 in 2013 from 71 in 2012.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 212-384-1000. A $10,000 reward is available for information that leads to the arrest of anyone involved in these incidents. Tipsters may remain anonymous.

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