A Plant City man who works for MacDill Air Force Base as a historian has been accused of pointing a laser at a Hillsborough County Sheriff's helicopter.
William R. Polson, 57, is facing charges of misuse of a laser lighting device and obstruction or opposing an officer without violence.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, the helicopter was conducting routine flight operations at 11:30 p.m. last Friday near the Plant City Airport when it was hit by a green laser.
Pilot Kevin Johnson said lasers can be debilitating to a pilot.
"It causes disruption in the cockpit," he said. "It lights the cockpit up. It causes temporary blindness."
Pilots were able to pinpoint the area within the Walden Lake subdivision as the source of the laser, then obtained video of Polson while he was shining the laser at the helicopter, deputies said.
Polson continued to shine the laser at the helicopter while pilots guided patrol deputies to the area, the report said. However, while deputies were en route, Polson drove away from his home, so pilots directed ground units to his location. Those deputies pulled him over and took him into custody.
The arresting deputies said they found the laser in Polson's possession.
Deputies say Polson works at MacDill Air Force Base as a historian.
"It would surprise me that someone in the aviation industry would do that," Johnson said.
Polson was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on $2,500 bond. He posted bond Sunday night.
A spokesperson for MacDill Air Force Base said they weren't aware of his arrest until they were informed by the media. He is still employed as of now.