News Story


Sheriff's Aviation - Suspect Arrested for Aircraft Laser Strike
12/20/2016 2:38:00 PM


Nature of Incident:

Ventura County Sheriff Aircraft laser strike suspect arrested

Report Number:



2100 Block of Isabella Street, Oxnard

Date & Time:

12/16/2016 / 2050 hours

Unit(s) Responsible:

Sheriff's Aviation Unit; Oxnard Police Department

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence


S ' Phillip Steven Adame





On 12/16/2016, a Ventura County Sheriff's Helicopter (Copter 3) assisted Camarillo patrol deputies with a search for a carjacking suspect in the area of East Pleasant Valley Road and Laguna Road. 


During the search, Copter 3 received numerous laser strikes over twenty-minutes.  The laser strikes were coming from the 2100 block of Isabella Street in the city of Oxnard and members of the Oxnard Police Department were notified.  The responding officer's located (S) Phillip Steven Adame at the scene.  Adame was found with evidence connecting him to the laser strikes and he was arrested. 


Adame was booked into the Ventura County Jail on one felony count of discharging a laser at an aircraft, one count of being in possession of a controlled substance, and one count of possessing drug paraphernalia.  Adame's bail is currently set at $10,000 and he is scheduled to appear in court on 12/20/2016.    


Laser pointers cause a distraction and pilots are particularly vulnerable to laser lights when conducting low-level flight operations at night.  Many people do not realize the problem is that the beam is much larger at long distances.  Even though the laser projects a small, millimeter-sized dot close up, at longer distances the beam can be many inches across.  When the beam hits the bubble of a helicopter or windscreen of a cockpit, imperfections in and on the glass spread the light out even more causing glare and flash blindness.  These effects can be especially debilitating when the eyes are adapted to the low-light level of a cockpit at night.  The effects have been described as being similar to a camera flash at close proximity or the brightness of high-beam headlights from oncoming traffic.

For these reasons, you should NEVER aim a laser pointer at or near a helicopter or airplane; it is not safe and you may be arrested.



Prepared by:

Senior Deputy Ryan Poynter


News Release Date:



Media Follow-Up Contact:

Senior Deputy Ryan Poynter




Approved by:

Sergeant Don White



Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime.  The caller may remain anonymous.  The call is not recorded.  Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).