Ginowan man nabbed for aiming laser at Marine helo
Okinawa Prefectural Police arrested a local businessman Monday, on suspicion of aiming a laser beam at a U.S. military aircraft flying near MCAS Futenma in July.
Police arrested 56-year-old video rental company manager Katsuro Hiraoka, who is suspected of beaming green laser beam from a parking lot near his house three times at a helicopter carrying marines. Police say that Hiraoka has admitted to the charges.
Police searched Hiraoka’s home on Monday and said that they confiscated a laser pointer from the home. They are continuing the investigation into the case in order to find out whether Hiraoka was involved in the other cases as well.
According to police, they have received reports from the Marines that there has been six incidents over the past year that Marine helicopters have been the target of what they believe were laser beams. The Marines expressed concern over the incidents saying, “Aiming a laser beam at an aircraft poses a threat to the safe operation of aircraft.”
Hiraoka has allegedly told investigators that he became irritated about the noise from the helicopters flying from the nearby MCAS Futenma.