Man accused of pointing a laser at sheriff's helicopter

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An Orange County man thought he could get away with pointing a laser at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office helicopter, deputies say.

According to Sheriff John Mina, early Wednesday morning, a man wearing only boxers pointed a laser at the chopper as it was flying over East Orlando.  Authorities say the green light temporarily blinded the pilot. The pilot then zeroed-in on the home from which the laser was directed and alerted deputies the ground.  Those deputies were dispatched to the 8600 block of Spring Club Court.

"People just assume, because our deputies are several thousand feet in the air in a helicopter, they were not going to respond," said Mina.

Rodger Dean Smith, 47, denied the allegations; however, deputies conducted a quick search and say they found a laser that emitted a green light.

"If you are doing it, we will catch you, we will find you," said Mina, "It is extremely dangerous, not only for the pilots, but god forbid the pilots were distracted and ended up crashing, putting our citizens at risk."

Smith, a convicted felon, was arrested and charged with pointing a laser light at a pilot, which is also a  felony, and assault on a law enforcement officer. 

Additionally, because deputies said they found 12 guns, ammunition and cannabis inside Smith’s home, he now is charged with 12 counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, one count of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, and possession of cannabis.