A North Carolina high school football game was canceled before halftime and the stands evacuated Friday night when a referee spotted a laser beam “pointed onto the field,” school officials said.
Safety concerns prompted the decision to stop play during the second quarter of Graham High School’s game against Bartlett Yancey High, Alamance-Burlington Schools officials said on Facebook late Friday.
“Both teams’ players and spectators were asked to promptly exit the stadium,” according to the Facebook post.
No weapons were reported, “only the laser beam that prompted the decision,” school district officials said.
Everyone safely left the stadium, according to the school system.
The Graham Police Department, school resource officers and Alamance-Burlington athletic officials are investigating the incident.
It is illegal in North Carolina to point a laser device intentionally at a law enforcement officer or the head or face of another person while the device is emitting a laser beam.
The offense is considered an infraction under N.C. General Statute 14-34.8.
Laser beams can damage a person’s eyes, according to Laser Pointer Safety.com.
“In sports, there have been cases of ‘laser louts’ who aim lasers at sport players in a stupid attempt to disrupt the play,” according to the site. “It goes without saying this is unacceptable and is illegal. It is this kind of behavior that causes the public to support a ban on laser pointers.”
On Facebook Friday night, the Alamance-Burlington School System said: “The schools and athletic department thank everyone for their cooperation and regret that this game could not be completed as scheduled.”
No makeup date has been announced.