Cliffside Park police filed delinquency complaints against two teen cousins for flashing a laser pointer into the cockpit of an NYPD helicopter Wednesday night -- a serious crime that has sent some adults to prison.
NYPD Aviation 20 was above Covenant Avenue and 128th Street, searching for a robbery suspect near St. Nicholas Avenue in Harlem, when the incident occurred shortly before 9:30 p.m., the department said.
Crew members used an infrared sensor to pinpoint the location of the beam on the Palisades near the corner of Cecelia Place and Cecelia Avenue, the borough’s highest point, Cliffside Park Deputy Police Chief Vincent Capano said.
The chopper then followed the boys -- – one, 16, from Cliffside Park, the other, 15, from Little Ferry -- and hovered over the younger boy's house, Capano said.
The crew notified air traffic controllers at LaGuardia Airport, who contacted Cliffside Park police, he said.
Officers took the boys into custody and recovered the pointer, the deputy chief said.
They released them to a responsible adult after processing the teens on delinquency complaints charging them with:
- interfering with transportation (a second-degree offense);
- aggravated assault on a police officer;
- obstruction of a government function;
- weapons offenses.
Detectives are sending the case to the Bergen County Prosecutor's Counter-Terrorism Unit for a hearing in the Family Part of Superior Court in Hackensack.
Federal authorities take such incidents very seriously.
The powerful beam can travel more than a mile and brighten a cockpit, “disorienting and temporarily blinding pilots," the FBI reported.
An adult, if convicted on similar charges, could get five to seven years in prison.
Juveniles are handled differently because of their ages.
A family court judge could sentence them to community service, fines, and/or probation.
ALSO SEE: Edgewater police nabbed a pair of counterfeiters from the Bronx who hit several stores in town, authorities said.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.