LUBBOCK, Texas — Joshua Pyle, 33, of Lubbock was indicted Wednesday on a felony charge of aircraft interference, according to federal court records. A police report accused him of raising a laser pointer at a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter.
According to a police report from the Lubbock Police Department, an officer assigned to a DPS helicopter crew (DPS105) reported that the aircraft was struck by a laser “multiple times” in the area of 49th and Joliet.
The police report said an officer was able to get to the area within seconds and saw a vehicle heading westbound on the north side of an apartment complex in the 3500 block of 50th Street.
A friend of Pyle’s was driving the vehicle with Pyle in the front passenger seat.
The officer saw the vehicle fail to make a complete stop and initiated a traffic stop in the 4000 block of 50th Street.
According to the police report, both Pyle and the driver showed signs of nervousness. The driver denied involvement in the laser strike when questioned. The officer told Pyle about DPS105 having footage of the laser strike but Pyle denied it was him.
After a search, police found a laser pointer in Pyle’s pocket.
On August 16, there were similar reports of someone shining a laser at aircraft in the area of 19th Street and Milwaukee Avenue. An officer noticed that Pyle’s listed residence on his driver’s license was in that area.
LPD had probable cause to believe that Pyle intentionally directed the laser at the aircraft, potentially impairing the pilot’s vision and ability to control the helicopter.
At the time of his arrest, he was booked into the Lubbock County Detention Center where he later posted bond and was released.