— Brent Patrick McGrath, 65, was charged with a gross misdemeanor crime against an aircraft this week in Nicollet County District Court.
NORTH MANKATO — A rural North Mankato man is facing a criminal charge after he reportedly pointed a flashlight and a medical helicopter and momentarily blinded the pilot.
Brent Patrick McGrath, 65, was charged with a gross misdemeanor crime against an aircraft this week in Nicollet County District Court.
McGrath allegedly pointed a flashlight at an air ambulance that was landing at the scene of an ATV rollover July 5 near Judson Bottom Road. Patricia Powers died at the scene.
The pilot was using night vision technology and said he was blinded by the flashlight beam while trying to land.
The pilot identified McGrath’s property as the source of the light, according to the court complaint.
McGrath reportedly gave three different stories about what he was doing. He reportedly first said he was walking his dog, then said he was looking for his loose dog and later claimed he was trying to identify the source of noise he suspected was farm equipment.