NIPOMO, Calif. - A Nipomo man was arrested after he allegedly pointed a high-powered laser pointer at a California Highway Patrol airplane.
According to CHP, one of their aircraft was struck multiple times by a high-powered green laser while in flight last Friday around 9:30 p.m..
It happened over the Nipomo area while their airplane crew was providing aerial support for a multi-agency operation in south San Luis Obispo County.
CHP said the pilot of their aircraft diverted his course in an attempt to minimize the impact of the laser on the flight crew.
The crew was able to determine that the green laser was coming from the front yard of a residence on the 600 block of Southland Street.
CHP patrol officers were then dispatched to the home where they found 51-year-old Zammy Castellanos.
Officers investigated the residence and found the high-powered laser.
Castellanos was taken into custody for violating California Penal Code section 247.5 which prohibits any person from "willfully and maliciously" discharging a laser at an occupied aircraft.
It is a felony violation and a federal offense that can result in imprisonment for up to five years and a fine of up to $25,000.
CHP says that pointing any type of laser at an aircraft in motion or flight can cause injury and may seriously hinder the pilot’s ability to safely control the aircraft.