Man Sentenced for Flashing Laser at WJW Helicopter

By Aneya Fernando 

WJW-1Back in October 2013, Nicholas Vecchiarelli, 47, was caught by police pointing a laser light at a WJW helicopter while the FOX affiliate was covering a Friday night football game in Hubbard, Ohio. The officers found Vecchiarelli pacing in his driveway with a police scanner and a green laser pointer. Police said he confessed to the crime.

In February, Vecchiarelli was arraigned on charges of endangering an aircraft and obstructing official business. He was later released on bond and pleaded guilty to one count of interfering with aircraft.

Now, Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Ray Rice has issued his sentence, which includes five years on probation and a $1,000 fine. Judge Rice also warned Vecchiarelli that he could go to prison for eight years if he violates his terms of probation.


Vecchiarelli must perform 200 hours of community service and submit a written apology to his victims. He must also obey an 11:00 p.m. curfew and stay out of liquor establishments.