NOTTOWAY COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Crewe woman was taken into custody after she reportedly shined a green laser pointer at a Virginia State Police trooper-pilot, blinding them for several minutes Monday night.
Virginia State Police say they were operating a fixed-wing aircraft while conducting a statewide manhunt for a wanted man accused of stealing a vehicle and shooting at authorities, among other charges.
The pilot of the aircraft was surveying the area just before 11 p.m. on Monday, May 16 when he was temporarily blinded by someone pointing a laser pointer from the ground in Crewe.
Police say the pilot regained vision several minutes later, and with the help of his co-pilot, the two were able to identify the source of the laser and provide state troopers with an exact location and address.
Authorities say the laser kept striking and tracking the aircraft as it continued to circle the area and assist with search efforts.
The Town of Crewe Police Department and Virginia State Police worked together to identify 40-year-old Tabitha Crater as the woman suspected of shining the laser pointer. She was found — with the laser pointer — at a home in the 100 block of Melody Lane and taken into custody without incident.
The FAA was notified of the incident, which officials say remains under investigation.
The manhunt concluded the morning of Tuesday, May 17 with the capture of 21-year-old Noah Lee Price of Amelia County. Price received charges pertaining to failure to appear, breaking and entering, grand larceny, and more across Nottoway, Prince Edward, and Cumberland counties.
State police say that Crater and Price are not connected.