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MCSO Arrests Man for Shining Laser at Aircraft


MANATEE COUNTY — Manatee County Sheriff Deputies arrested a man for repeatedly shining a green laser light at an aircraft.

At around 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 5, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office Aviation Unit overhead air traffic control from SRQ Airport radio about an incoming aircraft being struck with a green laser light.

The traffic indicated the source came from an area near Lakewood Ranch High School. While the Sheriff’s helicopter (Watch Unit) was responding to the 5500 block of Lakewood Ranch Blvd., an additional call came in regarding a citizen being painted by the same laser.

As deputies arrived on the scene, the suspect, later identified as Nicholas S. Clayton, 35, shined the laser pointer at a deputy’s patrol vehicle.

A traffic stop was initiated but the suspect refused to exit his vehicle. After ignoring multiple commands to surrender, Clayton was removed and placed under arrest.

Clayton, who provided deputies with an address from Clover, South Carolina, is charged with pointing a laser at a driver/pilot and resisting arrest. Video of the incident can be viewed here. 


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  • san.gander

    A serious offense! He could cause an accident that could result in death or serious injury. It's what happens when people don't think things through when they do stupid "stuff".

    I did "stupid stuff" like that when I was a child... immature. Fortunately, a parent caught me... stopped me, and taught me how what I was doing could do harm. A lesson learned early, and well enough to last a lifetime.

    But not this guy... bad parenting, no lessons; or he simply doesn't care... will he ever learn? Maybe not?

    Wednesday, October 18, 2023 Report this