Nov 17, 2014
1 comment

A 48-year-old man was arrested on a felony charge early Saturday after Richmond police say he aimed a laser pointer at a California Highway Patrol helicopter.

The incident was reported about 20 minutes after midnight in the Hilltop area, police spokesperson Sgt. Nicole Abetkov said Monday.

A CHP helicopter had just finished pursuing a stolen vehicle from Vallejo to Richmond when the crew noticed a laser was being pointed at the chopper.

The crew spotted the vehicle where the laser was coming from and followed the vehicle until RPD arrived and contacted its driver.

The driver, identified as 48-year-old Kenneth Rumberger, admitted to police he had a laser pointer but denied pointing it at the helicopter.

“He said he was pointing it at a street sign in the area,” Abetkov said.

Rumberger was arrested. The aiming of laser pointers at aircraft, a shockingly common crime, can blind pilots and cause crashes and is thus a felony offense, Abetkov said.

This video below discusses why the lasers are a potentially catastrophic distraction:


  1. Glad that people are caught for this serious felony. People dont know the danger that they put pilots in and their passengers. Found this website that provides information on what happens and why. Help raise awareness on this issue.

    James | Nov 18th, 2014

About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.