Two young men were arrested in San Jose Tuesday night on suspicion of shining a laser pointer into a police helicopter as it flew over the area, police said. At about 10:15 p.m. Tuesday, two officers spotted light from a green laser pointer in the cockpit of their helicopter as they were performing a routine patrol in San Jose, Officer Jose Garcia said. The officers tracked the light source to a nearby home and arrested two 22-year-old men outside the house. The men did not resist arrest. “They were very cooperative,” Garcia said. Quan Trung Nguyen and Ervin Guilermo Ancheta, both from Milpitas, were booked into jail on charges of intentionally pointing a laser at an aircraft in flight. If convicted of state charges, they could face three years in prison. If federal charges are brought against them, they face up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Reports of inappropriate laser use have increased annually for several years, from about 300 in 2005 to more than 1,500 in 2010, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said. “The FAA takes laser incidents very seriously because of the potential safety hazards they pose,” Gregor said. He said lasers can distract pilots and temporarily hurt their vision, which is especially dangerous during takeoff and landing.
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