A Tuckerton man was charged with pointing a laser at a State Police helicopter during the search for a missing man.

The two troopers on board the chopper flying over Bass River when the laser was pointed around 10:40 p.m. on May 6 were able to quickly identify where the laser originated and saw the man with the device get into a vehicle and drive off towards the Garden State Parkway, according to State Police.

Troopers on the ground were alerted to the vehicle's whereabouts and were able to arrest Jordan Prutzman, 32, after he admitted pointing the laser.

He was arrested in the northbound lanes of the Parkway north of Exit 58 for Route 539 in Eagleswood.

He was charged with interference with transportation and released pending a future court date. Federal charges are pending.

Knowingly aiming the light of a laser pointer at an aircraft is a federal crime. The lasers can distract pilots during landing and takeoff and can cause them temporary blindness, according to the FAA.

There were 6,852 reported laser incidents nationwide including 66 in New Jersey in 2020, according to the FAA, with 1,337 nationwide and 8 in New Jersey so far in 2021.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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