West Side man shoots commercial with police after aiming laser at airplane

Bethany Bruner - The Columbus Dispatch (TNS)

A West Side man has helped to shoot a public service announcement with Columbus police after being convicted of aiming a laser at a commercial airplane.

Eugene Robinson, 38, was convicted of one count of interference with an aircraft this year in relation to the July 2018 incident in which Robinson also shone a laser at a Columbus police helicopter multiple times before he was located.

As part of his sentence, Robinson was ordered to help police produce the public service announcement. The video is available to view on the Columbus Police social media accounts, as well as on YouTube.

The plane, a Southwest Airlines flight, had more than 60 passengers on board. According to the online video, the plane was moving 150 mph and was at an altitude of about 3,000 feet while trying to land at Columbus John Glenn International Airport at the time it was shot at by the laser.

The helicopter pilots, according to the video, had issues with their vision in the immediate aftermath of the laser being shone into their cockpit.

“They reported seeing spots and they both had headaches,” an unidentified police pilot said in the video. “A laser can cause permanent eye damage, and if we had permanent eye damage, that could mean the end of our career.”

Robinson had faced decades in federal prison, he says in the video, and could have faced meeting his grandchildren behind bars.

“It’s not worth it,” he said.

Robinson was sentenced to 30 days in jail and a year of community control, according to Franklin County Common Pleas Court records.


Bethany Bruner

The Columbus Dispatch (TNS)

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