Virginia Beach man gets 18 months in jail for harassing Navy pilots with lasers

By TYRA M. VAUGHN | Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) | Published: October 19, 2012

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A 56-year-old Virginia Beach man was sentenced in federal court Friday to 18 months in prison for harassing Navy pilots in flight with a laser.

Robert Bruce Jr. pleaded guilty July 31 to one count of interference with a flight crew, according to a new release from U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride of the Eastern District of Virginia.

Court documents said that Bruce, angry about the noise caused by the Navy aircraft flying at Naval Air Station Oceana, began harassing aviators with a handheld laser as they flew near his home. The incidents took place from December 2011 to June 2012 during takeoff and landing practice, the news release said.

In addition to prison time, Bruce will also have three years of supervised probation and has been fined $4,000.


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