NY News Chopper Hit by Laser

The FAA is investigating two instances of lasers being pointed at news helicopters in New York City last night.

One of the choppers hit by the green laser was WNBC's. 

WNBC says that Chopper 4 was heading to downtown Brooklyn to cover a story when it was struck by the laser.

The helicopter remained over Prospect Heights as the pilot and Chopper 4 reporter Dennis Protsko attempted to pinpoint the source of the laser from 1,500 feet in the air. Protsko rotated Chopper 4's camera and spotted a group of what appeared to be workers behind a health food restaurant pointing the laser not only at Chopper 4 but at an NYPD chopper when it came to investigate. 

"We could actually see him standing back outside the building with the laser in his hand shooting at us," Protsko is heard saying in the video.

The workers appeared to be laughing as they pointed the laser. Protsko said it's no laughing matter.

 "You get hit in the face like that, in the eyes, and you can go temporarily blind," he later told NBC 4 New York.

"We're talking about a helicopter that weighs almost two tons," he said. "Imagine that coming down on your house because the pilot's vision is impaired. Even more serious if it was a jetliner." 

Authorities including NYPD and FAA were contacted and guided to the location with the help of Chopper 4. Two people were taken into custody, and one of them has been arrested, police said.

The FAA said WABC-TV also reported its news helicopter being struck by a laser near Newark Airport at about 5:20 p.m. The agency is investigating both incidents. 

Pointing a laser at a plane is a federal crime, and the FAA since 2011 has been moving to enforce penalties against those found pointing lasers at aircraft, including imposing civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation. 

Here's the video: