A bipolar man with a lengthy rap sheet faces up to five years in prison after admitting to shining a laser pointer at airplanes from a Bronx apartment. Elehecer Balaguer, the housemate of Frank Egan—the guy originally charged with temporarily blinding pilots flying in and out of LaGuardia with a laser pointer in March—pled guilty in Manhattan federal court yesterday.

Balaguer testified yesterday that he had purchased the laser pointer on a recent trip to Florida. According to the Post, he said, "I seen the laser so I bought it and brought it home... That night I was flashing it out the window at the planes and the next thing I know I was in big, big trouble."

Two police officers operating a helicopter for the NYPD Aviation Unit tracked Balaguer down after the laser incident was reported on March 9th. They sustained eye injuries in the process, as did the pilot of an Air Canada commercial airline. Air Traffic Control even temporarily diverted planes from the Bronx as a safety measure.

Balaguer was arrested on March 16th after admitting sole responsibility for the incident in State Supreme Court. "Frank had nothing to do with it. I was the one that did it," he said during Egan's trial, according to the Times. "It was just like a kid thing. It was a stupid thing to do." At the time, Balaguer also admitted to lying to NYPD officers on the night of the incident.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement, “Thankfully, this case did not end in tragedy, but Elehecer Balaguer’s actions were serious and posed a danger. Others should understand that they will be prosecuted criminally if they engage in this conduct."

Balaguer, an ex-heroin dealer who reportedly suffers from bipolar disorder, has fourteen previous charges against him dating back to 1985—many involving sale of a controlled substance. Psychiatric issues play such a significant role in this case, that Judge Jed Rackoff is reportedly considering a more lenient sentencing. He said yesterday, "Given his psychiatric history, given his apparent lack of any wrongful intent, I can see one set of arguments being made. On the other hand I can see a different set of arguments because of the danger presented."

Balaguer's sentencing is scheduled for September 9th.