• Man arrested after laser hits pilot's eye during landing at airport

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    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A man was arrested after authorities said he pointed a green laser at an aviation tower at the Daytona Beach International Airport Sunday night and at an American Airlines plane that was in the air.

    Investigators said they questioned Gerardo Sanchez, 23, who was found walking in the area of Clyde Morris Boulevard and Aviation Parkway. Officers said Sanchez admitted to pointing the laser at the clouds in the general vicinity of the aircraft, and said the aircraft might have flown through the laser beam.

    According to a release, Sanchez also said he pointed the laser toward the aviation tower several times.

    An officer said he contacted the pilot and copilot of the American Airlines flight. One of the pilots said he was attempting to land when he was flashed in the eyes with a green laser.

    The aircraft landed without incident.

    Air traffic controllers said the laser flashed their eyes in the tower.

    Sanchez was found with the laser in his pocket, officers said.

    Officers said Sanchez told him that he saw an incoming aircraft "on short approach." The officer said he focused on the aviation lingo "short approach" and asked Sanchez if he was a pilot. The officer said Sanchez told him that he was attending ATP Flight School, studying to be a pilot.

    Sanchez is charged with pointing a laser at a driver/pilot. Authorities said Sanchez is not a U.S. citizen.

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