A Mesa man, 30-year-old Phillip Merrell, has been arrested for allegedly pointing a laser at aircraft.
According to Mesa Police, on October 26, the Mesa Police Air Unit was flying around the area of 1140 S 111th Circle in Mesa, AZ when a green laser was pointed at them. They notified ground units of the approximate location and then returned and were again pointed at by the green laser.
Police on the ground observed Merrell pointing the laser. Officers discovered that Merrell had pointed the laser the day before at a commercial airliner from the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Officers also learned there were numerous other recent complaints from pilots saying someone in the area was shining a laser at them.
Merrell claimed he did not know it was illegal to point a laser at an occupied aircraft.
Merrell was arrested and charged with one count of pointing a laser at an occupied aircraft and one count of endangerment involving risk of imminent death.