News of a St. James man who police said pointed a green laser at an airplane, and a police helicopter has set off a heated debate on Patch over whether the crime was just a prank gone wrong or a very serious offense with implications of terrorism.
The incident has even gone viral, prompting YouTube user isayitlikeitis1 to post a video response to the story and incident.
, police said David Smith, 21, was charged with obstructing governmental administration in the second degree and may face future charges from the New York Port Authority and New Jersey Terrorism Task Force.
Police said the Federal Aviation Administration notified them that an aircraft was targeted at roughly 9:55 p.m. by a green laser pointer on the ground. While a responding helicopter approached the airspace where the alleged initial incident occurred, police said the helicopter was also targeted by the laser.
As soon as the story posted the comments began coming in.
Commenter suggested Smith be charged as a terrorist and sent to Guantanamo.
"You may argue as to whether or not he is a terrorist but think about it, a [terrorist] purpose is to cause fear, there does not have to be a large body count. The fear of one or more persons targeting aircraft with the distinct possibility of causing a crash is an act of terrorism," he wrote.
However, commenter disagrees.
"Very good. Charge him as a terrorist and create fear. Exactly want the government wants, more fear, more control, more ignorance, more distraction, while they go about business as usual," he wrote. "Sure the kid made a stupid mistake, but is that cause to ruin his life, or is he just a pawn, fodder in our governments game of control and distraction."
Press Officer for the New York Port Authority Al Della Fave confirmed Monday afternoon that in addition to the obstructing governmental administration in the second degree charge filed by SCPD, additional charges were filed by New York State Police, and the FBI Joint Terrorism Taskforce is moving forward to see if any federal charges could be filed.
Calls to state police were not returned by time of publication.