OMAHA, Neb. (KCAU) – Pointing a laser at an aircraft is considered a federal offense according to the Nebraska State Patrol. Officials say that a laser strike of any kind constitutes an in-flight emergency.  

According to a release from the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP), pilots with NSP launched from the Lincoln Airport at 10 p.m. to help police with an operation. Shortly after taking flight, the pilots reported a laser strike as they were flying west of Downtown Lincoln.  

The release specified that after the strike was reported to Lincoln Air Traffic Control, officials searched for the source of the strike. While they were investigating, the pilots reported further laser activity.  

The pilots were able to help officials locate a man who was walking on a path near Salt Creek, who was determined to be the source of the strikes, according to the release.  

The suspect was identified as Lee Cimfel, 42, of Lincoln, and deputies found him to be in possession of a laser that was allegedly used in the strike.  

The release states that Cimfel was taken into custody and was charged with second-degree assault.  

The release specified that the incident was also reported to the Federal Aviation Administration.