DENVER — A Franktown man who flashed a laser pointer at a Denver police helicopter in March has pleaded guilty, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado announced Thursday.
Air 1, a helicopter operated by the Denver Police Department, was helping other law enforcement agencies with aerial surveillance on March 2 when it was struck by a blue laser, according to officials.
The crew, using a thermal imager and camera, determined the laser strike came from a parking lot near the intersection of East 55th Ave. and Logan Court in Denver. Air 1 flew over the parking lot and located the suspect, later identified as Kevin William Adamchak, 43.
The pilot said in an interview with investigators the laser strike "caused flash blindness and intense pain in both of his eyes," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The pilot maintained control of the helicopter until his eyesight returned.
“What some may think is just a prank — pointing a laser pointer at an aircraft — actually presents a deadly risk to people in the aircraft and on the ground,” said United States Attorney Cole Finegan in a statement. “We hope that this case will raise public awareness of these serious dangers.”
Adamchak pleaded guilty to one count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 7, 2024.