According to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), Lou Ella Moore was arrested Friday night by both NCIS agents and Virginia Beach police and charged with interfering with an aircraft some time on December 16.
— Courtney Mabeus (@courtneymabeus) March 4, 2020
Since then, she has been released on a $1,500 bail and is scheduled to appear in the Virginia Beach General District Court on April 30.
In an email to the Virginian-Pilot, NCIS spokesperson Jeff Houston said: “NCIS personnel observed Lou Moore using a homemade device made of multiple lights fastened to a garden rake, and pointing it at planes overhead.”
According to the Virginian-Pilot, the NCIS received reports from Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach back in December that someone was flashing lights at planes. Pilots at the station use the Fentress landing field to simulate aircraft carrier landings.
“I can tell you that they [Navy leaders] were complaining about it, so it happened more than once,” Houston told the Navy Times.
Flashing lights and lasers can damage pilots’ eyes and cause them to become disoriented while operating planes.
“Such activity is a major concern for pilots who may be disoriented or injured by lasers and other lights being shined into their eyes,” Houston noted.
Moore could spend a maximum of five years behind bars if convicted.
In January, 41-year-old Charlie Chapman Jr. was arrested after he allegedly pointed lasers at planes attempting to land at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport in Sarasota, Florida. He is also accused of pointing lasers at officers trying to locate him.