Clovis man pleads guilty in laser strike on CHP pilots

A Clovis man is facing up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 after pleading guilty March 7 to striking a California Highway Patrol plane with a green laser beam, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

According to court documents, Jeremy Scott Danielson, 35, struck the pilots of a CHP plane 18 to 20 times with a laser beam, causing them flash blindness and watery eyes.

Clovis police officers were dispatched to the source and found Danielson with a flashlight-sized laser pointer in his pocket. The laser pointer also had danger warning label.

Reports of laser attacks have increased dramatically in recent years. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there have been over 22 laser incidents reported each day in the United States.

Lasers can incapacitate pilots and endanger crew members, passengers and people on the ground, according to the FAA.

Danielson is scheduled for sentencing before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill in Fresno on May 31.