Columbus man being accused of pointing laser at aircraft, police

Christopher Clem. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

A Columbus man is being accused of using a green laser to light up airplanes and police vehicles in the community. And of dealing drugs while doing it.

According to the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, authorities have had several recent reports of someone shining the laser at aircraft in the area, but could not identify a suspect. At 10:38 p.m. on Friday evening, deputies responded to another call about the laser and again initially couldn’t find a suspect, but about 20 minutes later a deputy driving near U.S. 31 and Interstate 65 noticed a green laser coming from a car. And the laser was pointed at the police vehicle as it drove by.

The vehicle was pulled over and the driver 49-year-old Christopher Clem admitted to deputies that he had pointed the laser at aircraft. A search of the vehicle uncovered two lasers along with a handgun, methamphetamine and crushed prescription pills.

Clem was arrested on preliminary charges of Pointing a Laser at a Public Safety Official, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of a controlled substance and Dealing in a Controlled Substance. All charges were enhanced because of the handgun.

U.S. Air Marshalls and the Federal Aviation Administration continue to investigate the aircraft incidents.

Evidence photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.