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Teen arrested after allegedly pointing laser at boat

August 21, 2012 2:40:06 PM PDT
A Long Island man is under arrest after police say he pointed a laser at a Marine Bureau police officer who was on patrol in the Great South Bay.

18-year-old Erik Barry came to the door at his parents bay front Sayville house Tuesday, and admitted he's the one who shined a powerful laser pointer at a police boat on the Great South Bay.

"You did hurt a cop in doing that do you know that?" asked Eyewitness News reporter Josh Einiger.

"Yeah I know," Barry said.

"So do you have anything to say to him? Are you sorry?" Einiger asked.

"I'm sorry," Barry said.

Sorry, for temporarily incapacitating Suffolk Marine Bureau Officer Robert Daniels Monday night as he operated a police boat, a mile offshore.

Barry says he never saw the boat, that he was just shining the light onto the bay.

"It was too far away so I didn't see it," Barry said.

"Our boats are sufficiently lighted, I would think he would be able to see our boat, especially at night," said Dep. Inspector Christopher Hatton, Suffolk County Police Department.

In fact, police say it was Officer Daniels who couldn't see.

His vision so badly affected when that laser caught him in the eyes, he had to ask another officer to take the controls.

Then, they managed to follow the light beam right to Barry's house where they confiscated the laser, and placed him under arrest.

This is the second time in a month Suffolk Police caught someone pointing a laser beam at one of their own.

In July, a 14-year-old boy allegedly targeted a police helicopter with a similar device that looks perfectly harmless, but casts a beam for miles, one so bright; it can blind anyone who looks into it.

As for Officer Daniels, it still isn't clear if he suffered any permanent damage.

"It could cause serious injuries to the officer, I guess we'll know that at a later date, I guess we're just hoping for the best for him," Dep. Inspector Hatton said.

"What would you say to that police officer?" Einiger asked.

"I'd say, I'm sorry for what I did, I hope you get better," Barry said.

Barry is charged with second-degree reckless endangerment.

Daniels was transported to Stony Brook University Medical Center where he was treated for laser light exposure.

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