A Bronx man injured three commercial pilots when he pointed a high powered laser at several jets taking off and landing at LaGuardia Airport — just days after a pilot skidded off an icy runway there in a near catastrophe, cops said on Tuesday.
An NYPD aviation unit discovered 36-year-old Frank Egan’s location when he aimed the beam at the officer’s helicopter from his mom’s apartment window as they were canvassing the area around 9 p.m.
A short time earlier, two pilots aboard a Delta Airlines flight suffered eye injuries when the green laser beam illuminated their cockpit. An air Canada pilot also suffered an eye injury and was taken to a hospital in Toronto.
A team of cops knocked on the Coddington Avenue apartment in Schuylerville and were met by Egan’s mother, who invited them inside, police said.
The cops discovered the powerful laser sitting on top of the family’s refrigerator. Egan confessed to pointing it at aircrafts from his window, which is approximately 10 miles from LaGuardia.
He told cops that he purchased the black tubular pointer labeled “Laser 303” from a vintage boutique in Florida for $50, police sources said.
Similar lasers sell for as little as $8 on Websites like Amazon and Ebay.
Egan later denied the crime as he was being led by police from the 45th Precinct, shouting, “I didn’t point nothing! I was sleeping! I was sleeping!”
Neighbors described Egan as a quiet, pleasant guy who works at a New Rochelle floral shop and is often seen pointing the green laser beam around the neighborhood.
“He seems like a real nice kid,” said Thomas McCann, 65. “I was surprised when he came out in cuffs from that house.”
Another neighbor, Emilia Mercora, 78, said she was shocked when she learned why Egan was being led out of the building in cuffs.
“Why he did that I don’t understand,” she said. “I don’t think he did that on purpose.”
Egan was hit with charges of criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment, three counts of felony assault, and two counts of assault on a police officer, cops said.
The two aviation cops were treated at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai for eye injuries and were later released, police said.
Laser pointers like the one Egan used are legal to own, but aiming one at an aircraft is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.