PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man who aimed a laser pointer at Portland Police Bureau airplane has been sentenced to 3 years of probation.
Nikolay Bocharnikov was sentenced Tuesday in US District Court. He pleaded guilty in April to one count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft.
In July of 2017, the pilot of a Cessna 172 used by the PPB was temporarily blinded by a green laser as the plane was approaching a Portland International Airport runway.
The laser struck the plane 4 times before the pilot and flight officer were able to pinpoint where it was coming from on the ground.
Officers found the house and contacted Bocharnikov, who eventually confessed to pointing the laser pointer at the airplane, according to court documents.
He also expressed remorse while talking with FBI agents and said it was a “stupid thing to do.”
Authorities said Bocharnikov, who is a locksmith, was hired in 2016 to unlock a stolen car. He was told by officers that he could keep some of the items from the car; Bocharnikov chose a green laser pointer.
Bocharnikov decided to experiment with the laser a year later by pointing it at trees and, ultimately, the airplane. He said he didn’t think it would reach the plane and couldn’t see it strike the aircraft.