Florida man arrested for zapping Scientology cameras with laser pointer during "Cult City Tour"

In Clearwater, Florida, Cult City Tours offers walking tours around Church of Scientology's large presence in the city's downtown area. The City Council is unhappy about the tours, claiming operator Ted Reinhard falsely claimed that several businesses only serve Scientologists and is damaging efforts to revitalize the downtown area. And now, tour attendees Robert Harris, 76, was arrested for aiming his laser pointer at Scientology surveillance cameras and allegedly damaging them. From the Tampa Bay Times:

Harris said police showed him surveillance images provided by Scientology officials that were peppered with black dots, allegedly a result of burn damage to the camera lenses from the laser. They also provided images of Harris pointing the laser at the cameras.

According to the arrest affidavit, video surveillance also captured Harris getting into a vehicle, which was registered to him.

"They've got cameras all over downtown," Harris said. "They watched me walk and go into a restaurant. They watched me go to my car, then they got the license plate and looked up the license plate and directed the detective."[…]

As part of the tour, Reinhard has challenged attendees to count the various surveillance cameras "as we smiled, waved, poked at, and took pictures of the cult's cameras," according to a Feb. 25 post on the tour's website.

He leads his groups in a faux Navy jacket and hat, a play on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard's exaggerated military record.

image: Anonymous9000 – originally posted to Flickr as Party Harder 370 (CC BY-SA 2.0)