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Not Everyone Loves Drones

by DronerJune 10, 2014

 A Connecticut quadcopter pilot assaulted by an unhappy woman had a surprise for his assailant: iPhone video footage. The man was legally flying a video-enabled drone on a public beach when the woman, 23-year-old Andrea Mears attacked him, knocking him to the ground and tearing his shirt.

Mears called him a “pervert” after placing multiple calls to the 911 emergency line to report him for “taking pictures of people with a helicopter plane,” and “trying to upload them.” When police arrived after the pilot phoned them to report the assault, the woman claimed he had been taking inappropriate pictures of people sunbathing on the beach.

Fortunately, his phone cam was recording during the altercation and what police saw on the recording convinced them that the woman, not the drone pilot, should be arrested.

Check out the video below, as it appears on LiveLeaks. The clip was originally on YouTube, but it has now been deleted by the service, which also suspended the pilot’s account “as a violation of YouTube’s policy prohibiting content designed to harass, bully, or threaten.”

The pilot posted a description of what he had done and the aftermath of the situation over on the RCgroups.com forum:

I never went below 50 feet save for take off/landing, then after the end of my last flight, some crazy lady came over and started taking pictures of me, and dialed 911 for the 3rd time in 15 minutes. They basically said that they’d send someone when one gets free during each of the 3 calls she made, she decided they didn’t care enough about someone obeying the law so when no one was around she assaulted me and she decided to stop when she got a phone call. I called the police to report the assault, and boy was the response big…10 or more vehicles arrived (cops, DEEP, and an ambulance). The police approached me very aggressively, believing her full story, and before anything else was said I brought up something that she missed— the fact that the cell phone in my hand has a camera, that was recording. I had video evidence that she went nuts completely unprovoked, and was the one that assaulted me. She was then charged with assault, and breach of peace and I gave the cops a copy of the video for their prosecution. I then also showed them my last flight where you can make out her colorful shirt getting up from the beach then following it until it lands which proved that she lied when claiming that she asked me to stop flying before calling the police.

At the end of it all, one of the officers said to me basically, “Flying that thing the way you were is fine, you’re not in any trouble. You can come back and fly, but just be aware that some people can be alarmed.”

Source: Ars Technica

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Droner
3 Comments
  • kes halliday
    June 11, 2014 at 5:36 am

    it’s nice to see the law on the side of a drone user. some people need to realize we are just doing what we injoy. we are not filming them or do we care about what they are doing. all that aside how’s the drone lol.

  • Figanootz
    June 13, 2014 at 5:43 am

    WE really got to get away from the term drone. It immediately conjures up negativity due the the way our government has abused them.

    • DAdmin
      June 15, 2014 at 10:02 am

      This kind of capitulation is the same thing that will permit lawmakers to make arbitrary, poorly informed rules governing civilian drone use without your say-so. Instead of futile attempts to change the language media and the public insist on using, embrace it and educate them.

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