Apologizing for stupidity
On March 10, 2005, I arrived in Keystone. We had driven from Edwardsville, Ill., all the way, in around 16 hours. I had sat around for about two hours when we decided to go out and smoke a cigarette. It was about that time when I made the biggest mistake of my life.I had shined my laser at a Flight for Life helicopter. At first I thought it was funny, but soon after reality set in. The police came and told me that I was in big trouble, not only with Summit County, but also with the federal government. When I think about it now, it is incomprehensible. The act that I had transcribed cost me more that I needed. Also, it put me in a situation I would not like. The FBI was called and came to question me to find out if I was a terrorist. It was by far one of the most intimidating occurrences in my life.In the end, I was convicted of Disorderly Conduct (or the same as yelling fire in a public place). This was not exactly what I was expecting, but it was by far not the worst thing that could have happened. I was looking at possibly seven years in a federal prison before the Secretary of State decided that I was not a terrorist. In this, I was very grateful. When waiting to hear this, I think I was in a state of shock. I could not eat, I slept very little and my demeanor was not at all good. It took two to three weeks before I got the verdict from her. When it did finally come I was ecstatic. Then I knew that the Colorado Judicial System would take over, and hopefully find that there was no crime committed. I was terribly wrong again. I have been in and out of Summit County courthouse three times. I had a trial on Oct. 13, 2006, to find if I had intentionally pointed my laser to try and bring down that helicopter. It did not have the outcome we all had hoped. In the end it came to a mistrail for withheld evidence. Now I have taken a guilty plea of Disorderly Conduct just to try to bring an end to this ambient situation.It has been said that this would not be enough. In fact, I think the opposite. In writing this, I have realized that I had done more damage then I originally thought. People had to take time out of their everyday lives just to come and testify for or against me. I had more than five people myself that had to call off work, school and their parenthood just to help me. Not to mention the pilot, nurse and FBI agent who needed to testify against me. I felt despair for the first time. It would seem like my act of stupidity was costing me more than ever. I cannot even begin to describe the emotion of guilt remorse I have felt since that day. If there was anything in my power to take that back believe me, I would.It seems as though the more I think about it the sorrier I am, but I don’t think sorry is enough. In this letter I want to let you know the emotions I felt while going through this act of indecency. I have since gone back to school to hopefully learn more to further my self awareness of illegal actions. I am always talking to others about it just to show them that doing one foolish act can result in months, almost years of distraught thought and actions. Going to court that day was my first time, I hope it is my last.Never in my 24 years of life, had I felt like I was the target of everyone’s anger. Today I know that feeling and I look to never feel it again. I want to apologize for my actions as well as tell you that it will never happen again. In doing this, I hope to ensure your trust in future tourists. I did not mean any harm to the crew that day or to any of the civilians below. I know that I did endanger all of them and the innocent below, I just pray that you have the sympathy in your heart and minds to forgive me, but I know that I can’t force it. So just know that when you read this, I will be in school trying to further my knowledge of doing goo and not bad.
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