Man 'charges at police with hammer after being caught shining lasers at planes'

Dave Maclean
The incident happened close to a Florida airport: Google Streetview

A man has been arrested for allegedly pointing lasers at planes trying to land at a Florida airport.

Charlie Chapman Jr aimed the laser at a plane four times, as well as a sheriff's helicopter as they tried to land at Sarasota Bradenton Airport, police say.

The Manatee County Sheriff's Office said one pilot was injured after the laser hit him directly in the eyes.

It caused caused temporary blindness and lingering blurred vision, the police report said.

The Orlando Sentinel said a video also shows a man appearing to throw objects at the sheriff's helicopter as it tried to land.

Authorities were led to Chapman after several police pilots reported the incidents, and found the 41-year-old on a forklift truck.

When approached, he reportedly went towards them with a hammer, causing officers to use a stun gun to subdue him.

He has been charged with aggravated assault on an officer, pointing a laser at a pilot with injury, pointing a laser at a pilot without injury and resisting without violence.