Man accused of threatening medical helicopter faces judge - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Man accused of threatening medical helicopter faces judge

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

A Green Township man appeared in court Monday morning after police said he threatened to shoot down a medical helicopter.

Leonard Pflanz, 56, was arrested Sunday after he allegedly drove to Mercy West Hospital and threatened a University of Cincinnati Health Air Care crew for flying too low over his home. According to police, Pflanz reportedly told the pilot he would shoot the helicopter down next time.

Police said Pflanz parked his truck near the hospital's helipad and started an "obscenity-laden and verbally abusive" conversation with the pilot. He was unarmed at the time, police said.

UC Medical Center spokesperson Diana Lara said the patient in the helicopter was safely transported into the hospital prior to the incident. However, officers said the crew was grounded and unable to respond to emergencies during the incident because of the alleged threat.

"This was a legitimate threat to harm not only UC Health's Air Care crew and patients needing lifesaving transport, but rather any helicopters flying over that same airspace," Lara said in a statement. "This individual's threats delayed Air Care from immediately leaving the scene interfering with the medical mission of UC Health to save lives."

Pflanz was booked in the Hamilton County Jail on charges of aggravated menacing and misconduct at an emergency, which are both misdemeanors. He was also charged with one felony count of disrupting public service.

During his arraignment, Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge Lisa Allen set bond at $15,000. Should he make bond, Pflanz was ordered to turn over all firearms to police as a condition of his release. He'll also be under house arrest and have to wear an electronic ankle monitor.

The case was scheduled to go before a grand jury on July 23.

Related: Man threatens to shoot down medical helicopter in Green Township

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