N.J. man charged with laser-pointing

Jan. 5, 2005 at 11:47 AM

NEWARK, N.J., Jan. 5 (UPI) -- A New Jersey man was charged with interfering with the operator of a mass transportation vehicle for pointing a laser beam at a commercial airliner.

David Banach, 38, of Parsippany, faces a 20-year prison sentence under USA Patriot Act provisions and was also charged Tuesday in Newark federal court with lying to the FBI, the New York Post reported.

"We are not saying this is a grand terrorist incident," said U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie regarding the Dec. 29, 2004, incident in which the pilots of a chartered Cessna Citation flying at 3,000 feet en route to Teterboro Airport reported being temporarily blinded by the flash of three green lasers.

Two days later Port Authority and FBI agents in a helicopter reported a similar incident during a mission to determine the laser's source, leading them to Banach's home.

Banach makes his living testing fiber-optic cables. He was released on $100,000 unsecured bond.

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