20-year-old Grande Prairie male charged with laser strike on aircraft, driver of vehicle and police officer

On May 12, 2021 at approximately 2:58 a.m., Grande Prairie RCMP responded to a complaint of a laser being pointed at an aircraft.

Grande Prairie, Alberta – On May 12, 2021 at approximately 2:58 a.m., Grande Prairie RCMP responded to a complaint of a laser being pointed at an aircraft.

A flight service specialist working at Grande Prairie Airport reported that a commercially operated plane was on its arrival into Grande Prairie when a laser was directed at the aircraft, that disrupted the pilots. Shortly after RCMP received a complaint of a laser being pointed at the driver of a vehicle which also temporarily distracted the driver.

While patrolling the area of where the laser was believed to have originated from, an RCMP officer had laser pointed at his body and face, temporarily disrupting the officer. Further investigation resulted in RCMP locating the residence where the laser originated from. RCMP obtained a judicial authorization to enter the residence after the occupant of the residence refused to answer the door. Officers then entered the residence, arrested a subject and seized the laser pointer.

Connor Layher (20) of Grande Prairie has been charged with the following:

· Mischief endangering life

· Possession of a weapon dangerous to the public

· Assaulting a Peace Officer

· Resisting arrest

· Possession of a prohibited Weapon

· Behaviour that endangers aircraft 7.41(1) Aeronautics Act

Laser Pointer STRIKE
(File Photo) Laser Pointer STRIKE

Layher was released from custody following a Judicial Interim Hearing and is scheduled to appear in Grande Prairie Provincial Court on May 31, 2021.

Laser strikes on an aircraft are extremely dangerous as they can temporarily blind the pilot. Laser strikes can lead to a possible loss of control of aircraft, posing a danger to people on the aircraft and the general public. In addition, laser strikes at anyone operating any motor vehicle potentially can be a danger to the occupants and the public.

Should you have any information on this incident, please call the Grande Prairie RCMP at 780-830-5700. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.

Grande Prairie RCMP

File 2021-646993



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