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New Zealand: Store worker describes laser attack which caused stinging eyes, headache, dizziness

In a letter to the editor of the Taranaki (New Zealand) Daily News, a woman described the effects of laser light in her eyes. On July 20 2013, Therese Costello of Whalers Gate was in her store serving a customer when the passenger of a car outside, waiting at a light, aimed a laser beam at Costello. She said she “was left with stinging eyes, a very strong headache, [and] a constant state of dizziness for the next few hours.” She said she was still feeling the effects as she wrote the letter.

From Stuff.co.nz via Taranaki Daily News. The full text of the letter is below. Note: LaserPointerSafety.com is listing this incident as part of our coverage of non-aviation laser misuse; in this case, to give an idea of what it is like for someone to suffer a laser attack.

OPINION: To the young man with the laser pointer, I don't know you, you don't know me, and yet you still found it entertaining to point your laser directly into my eyes while I was working on Saturday afternoon.

I was in my store serving a customer, and you were sitting outside in the passenger's seat of a car waiting for the lights. I have no idea what you were thinking in that time, but let me give you something to think about now.

Your rudeness and immaturity was clear, and you obviously had not anticipated any consequences to your thoughtless actions, but I was left with stinging eyes, a very strong headache, a constant state of dizziness for the next few hours I worked, and I am still feeling all of these side-effects as I write this letter now.

I am astonished that there are still young people around who find it amusing to abuse people in this manner, for this exact situation has happened to me in the past, although it was in a completely different work environment.

I am equally amazed that there are still parents who allow their children such easy access to these dangerous devices that can cause so much harm to innocent, unsuspecting victims such as myself.

Unlike the first time this happened to me, I saw the face of the young man whose actions have caused me so much trouble today, and I will be keeping an eye out from now on, to make sure no-one else has to suffer the consequences from such juvenile actions of one person.

Whalers Gate