FBI Tampa
Public Affairs Officer Andrea Aprea
(813) 253-1033
June 6, 2014

Laser Strike on a Law Enforcement Helicopter Leads to Arrest

Within 36 hours of the FBI Tampa Field Office’s Laser Threat Public Awareness press conference, a local man was arrested for lasing a Tampa Police Department helicopter. The suspect was located and arrested on local charges shortly after the incident by TPD Officers.

The incident occurred in the early morning hours of Thursday, June 5.

Tampa Police officers arrested Bradley Steffes, of Brandon, Florida, for shining a laser device at a Tampa Police Department helicopter.

While Officers Brian Gentry and Mark McCann were flying over the area of 50th Street and Adamo Drive, their helicopter was hit with a green laser. The pilots used the helicopter’s night vision and the FLIR detection system to guide patrol units on the ground to an individual who was entering a Dodge Ram truck parked at 5205 Adamo Drive in Tampa. The suspect was the only individual in the parking lot. The patrol units made contact with Bradley Steffes, and he consented to having his vehicle searched. During the search, officers located a laser pointer, marijuana and a glass marijuana pipe inside of Steffes’ truck. Steffes was arrested for misusing a laser lighting device and narcotics possession. He was transported to the Hillsborough County jail without incident.