CINCINNATI A man is facing charges and an Air Care helicopter was grounded after he threatened to shoot it out of the sky.


Police arrested Leonard Pflanz, 56, on Sunday morning after they said he threatened to shoot down an Air Care helicopter after it landed at Mercy West Hospital.

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The victims told police that Pflanz was upset that the helicopter flew over his property as it took off and landed at the hospital. A property search indicated Pflanz lives on the other side of Interstate 74, just northeast of the hospital.

Pflanz approached the pilot and a doctor on the helicopter after it landed and made the threats, court documents show.

The pilot told police that he tried to explain to Pflanz how the helicopter took off and landed at the hospital.

Records stated that Pflanz said he would use small arms fire if the helicopter flew over his property again.

After the confrontation, the crew took the helicopter out of service and it was unable to respond to emergency calls.

Pflanz was charged with aggravated menacing, disrupting a public service and misconduct at an emergency. He was booked into the Hamilton County Jail and was ordered held on $15,000 bond on Monday.

If he's released, Pflanz will be on electronic monitoring and must relinquish any guns in his home. His attorney said Pflanz owns no firearms that could take down a helicopter.

"There have been problems with these helicopters flying over since the hospital opened up. Theyve had conversations and at least one meeting with the hospital administration over there," Pflanz attorney, Timothy Nolan, said.

Nolan said there's more to this story than has been reported so far and that his client has filed several previous complaints with the UC hospital system over the helicopter flights.

The city said it had also received complaints about Pflanz.

Pflanz's neighbors said they didn't think the helicopter noise was bad.

"I dont think its that bad. I really dont. It's maybe once or twice a week that we'll get an Air Care helicopter," neighbor Debbie Betsch said. "You notice it but not enough to make a stink out of it."