Teens arrested for laser pointer attack on plane in Hamburg

Two teenagers have been nabbed for attempting to blind pilots landing at the Hamburg Airport with a laser pointer this week after being hunted down by a police helicopter.

Teens arrested for laser pointer attack on plane in Hamburg
Photo: DPA

Just after 10 pm on Tuesday, the pilots of the passenger plane reported the dangerous incident, which endangered hundreds of people on board, daily Die Welt reported on Wednesday.

The pilots told police they believed the laser had come from the central Horn neighbourhood, sparking massive search with several officers and a helicopter. Meanwhile airport traffic control rerouted incoming planes to fly around the Horn area.

“The police helicopter filmed a light beam,” police chief Holger Vehren told the paper, adding that this helped localise its origin.

As the chopper approached the building, a children’s home, the two teenage boys, identified as Philip P. (19) and Kevin H. (17), tried blinding the police pilot too. Though they tried to hide, police found them with an infrared camera.

“Both were arrested as they tried to leave the house,” Vehren said.

The older boy Philip P. is well-known to police for theft, assault, vandalism and other charges.

Both were released after their arrest and face charges for dangerous interference with air traffic, the paper said.

Last year the DFS air traffic authority reported a surge in dangerous laser pointer attacks during night landings. Pilots say that the sudden flash of light when their pupils are dilated is blinding and often forces then to abort landing operations.

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German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.