NOTTOWAY COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Crewe resident was taken into custody after she shined a green laser pointer at a Virginia State Trooper-Pilot, blinding the pilot for several minutes Monday night, according to Virginia State Police.
At the time, police were operating a fixed-wing aircraft while conducting a statewide manhunt for a wanted man suspected of stealing a vehicle and shooting out of the window at officers, among other charges.
The pilot of the aircraft was surveying the area just before 11 p.m. when he was temporarily blinded by someone pointing a laser pointer from the ground in Crewe. State police said 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.
Police said the laser continued to strike and track 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 by police –with the laser pointer– at a residence on the 100 block of Melody Lane.
Crater was taken into custody without incident. The FAA was notified of the incident, which police said remains under investigation.
The manhunt concluded Tuesday morning 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 said that Crater and Price are not connected.