Cops: Pilot landed helicopter next to Nassau Coliseum

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A helicopter pilot was arrested after he tried to land his craft in a populated area next to the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale after a rave concert on Saturday night, Nassau police said.

Michael Croissant, 44, of Monticello, who was flying a Bell Model 407 helicopter, attempted to land the craft on a grassy area on the west side of the venue at about 11:45 p.m., but took off after seeing pedestrians in the area, police said.

He then came back and landed in the area, despite the presence of about 20 pedestrians nearby, police said.

Police, who were already at the venue responding to 911 calls reporting as many as 100 intoxicated young people at The Haunted Coliseum rave party, arrested Croissant and charged him with first-degree reckless endangerment. His helicopter was seized.

Police had no information as to why Croissant was landing a helicopter there, but they said that he did not secure a safe landing zone ahead of time with police and Coliseum personnel.

Croissant is scheduled to be arraigned on Sunday at First District Court in Hempstead.

Meanwhile, the intoxicated young people were taken to various hospitals, police said. There were no reports of fatalities.

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