Man Learns that, Even at Walmart, Shining a Laser Pointer at a Cop is a Crime

When a pantsless young man runs into his backyard in the wee hours of the morning and shines a laser pointer at a police helicopter overhead, criminal charges are sure to follow.

But what if you're in a Walmart checkout line fully clothed and decide to test that new light-emitting gadget you literally just purchased on that cop standing over yonder? Monumentally stupid to be sure, but criminal?

A Mr. Evans (his first name isn't listed in a police report) set out for the Walmart Supercenter at LBJ and Forest Lane early this morning in search of an answer. Actually, it was probably more a spur-of-the-moment thing, but either way. It was 3:45 a.m. He had a freshly unwrapped laser pointer in his hand. Stephen Vineyard, a Dallas police officer in full uniform, was standing not far away.

He shone the light and let it dance on Vineyard's chest, then moved it up to his eyes.

Thinking the red beam was from a laser gun sight, Vineyard grew alarmed. Then, once the temporary blindness passed, he grew angry. He placed Evans under arrest according to DPD's writeup, then let him go after giving him a ticket.

Turns out, pointing a laser pointer at a cop is a crime. Let's hope that answer satisfies Evans, since it'll cost him as much as $500. Of course, he could have gotten the same answer from the Texas Penal Code or by visiting laserpointersafety.com, which offers a state-by-state glossary of laws governing the devices.

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