Man Arrested After Blinding Sheriff Helicopter Pilot With Laser

Florida Man Dean Gordon Beolet, 33, of Palm Bay, took the ride of shame to the Brevard County Jail after shining a laser light at the Brevard County Sheriff’s helicopter and temporarily blinding the pilot!

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The Sheriff’s Air Unit was assisting Palm Bay Police department in the search for a suspect who attacked his roommate. During the search, the helicopter pilot Deputy Brandon McIntyre was temporarily blinded by a green laser light flashed into the cockpit several times. As a result, the pilot had to turn over the controls to a Tactical Flight Officer, who, fortunately, was also a pilot.

Officers on the ground found out where the laser light was coming from and arrested Beolet for the crime. After he was placed into custody, officers discovered that Beolet was not involved in the original crime. Apparently, Beolet was bored, just plain stupid, or both.

Incidents like this take place constantly. Law Enforcement Pilots wear night vision goggles, and a bright light or laser light can cause temporary or permanent injury to their eyes.

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“It can be very dangerous,” Tod Goodyear, a Brevard County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, said. “It could cause a crash; it can cause injuries to the pilot’s eyes. It’s something that is talked about, but I don’t think is talked about enough. It’s not a prank; it’s something that could turn into a deadly situation.”

Palm Bay Police say Beolet admitted to intentionally flashing the laser that temporarily caused the pilot to lose sight.

“You would think by now criminals in Brevard County would understand the concept of ‘Mess Around and Find Out,’ but I guess some of them just need to find out the hard way!!,” the Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook. “Not only did the laser put officers from the Palm Bay Police Department in harm’s way as it impacted the equipment our team was utilizing to search for the armed suspect, but it also put our flight crew in immediate danger as the laser refracted through our pilot’s night goggles temporarily blinding him and blurring his vision,” the post said.

The pilot was evaluated by an eye doctor and cleared to return to work.

Beolet was transported to the Brevard County Jail and charged with felony misuse of laser light. His bond was set at $2,000.

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