Pointing laser at aircraft results in an arrest in Bartholomew County


Here’s what’s alleged

On several occasions over the past week deputies from the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office were
dispatched to reports of someone shining a green laser at aircraft in the area. All earlier attempts to
locate the sources were unsuccessful until 02/03/2024.

At approximately 10:38 PM Deputy Dylan Prather was dispatched to the area of the Columbus Municipal
Airport for yet again a report of someone pointing a laser at an aircraft. Deputy Prather was initially
unsuccessful in locating the source. Approximately 20 minutes later while traveling on US 31 near I 65
Deputy Prather observed a green laser emitting from a black passenger car. At this time the laser was
then pointed at Deputy Prather’s patrol car as he drove by the vehicle.

A traffic stop was conducted on the vehicle the driver was identified as Christopher Clem 49yo of
Columbus. During the investigation two laser devices as well as methamphetamine and crushed
prescription pills were found. While speaking with Clem he admitted to deputies to pointing the laser at
an aircraft as it flew overhead.

Clem was transported to the Bartholomew County Jail where he remains on a 48 hour hold on the
charges involving allegations 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 due to Clem
being in possession of a handgun at the time of the incident.

The United States Air Marshalls and Federal Aviation Administration continue to investigate the incident
at a federal level.

This is a preliminary investigation. All persons are innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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