A man was arrested in Kentucky for shooting down an $1,800 drone, which was hovering over his property while his teen daughter was sunbathing.
William H. Merideth, 47, from Kentucky, has been charged with first degree criminal mischief, as well as with first-degree wanton endangerment.
The drone’s owner insists that he was simply trying to take photographs of a friend’s house last weekend when Merideth shot at his robotic device, hitting it and sending it down into a field near his yard. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. William H. Merideth was unhappy at a drone that was hovering over his house.
2. Merideth allegedly told the police that a drone was hovering over his house, while his teenage daughter was sunbathing. So he pulled out his gun and shot it down (file image; source: Wikimedia).
Speaking to WDRD, Merideth explained why he shot the drone:
My daughter comes in and says, “Dad, there’s a drone out here flying.”
I went and got my shotgun and I said, “I’m not going to do anything unless it’s directly over my property.”
Within a minute or so, here it came [the drone had disappeared briefly]. It was hovering over top of my property, and I shot it out of the sky. I didn’t shoot across the road, I didn’t shoot across my neighbor’s fences, I shot directly into the air.
3. He says that shortly after the shooting, he received a visit from four men who claimed to be responsible for the drone and explaining that it cost $1,800.
4. Merideth was arrested for wanton endangerment and criminal mischief.
Merideth adds that four men came to confront him after he shot the drone down, but he says they quickly changed their minds when they noticed his firearms. He said:
I had my Glock on me and they started toward me and I told them, “If you cross my sidewalk, there’s gonna be another shooting.”
The police arrested the man shortly afterward. Merideth is now evaluating the legal action he could take in the wake of the incident.
5. “Our rights are being trampled daily”, Meredith said, pictured with his wife. “Not on a local level only — but on a state and federal level. We need to have some laws in place to handle these kind of things.”
6. Merideth said four men tried to confront him after the drone was shot down, but then changed their minds when they saw his personal firearms.
Merideth said that he was disappointed with the police. He said:
They didn’t confiscate the drone. They gave the drone back to the individuals.
They didn’t take the SIM card out of it… but we’ve got… five houses here that everyone saw it — they saw what happened, including the neighbors that were sitting in their patio when he flew down low enough to see under the patio.
Our rights are being trampled daily. Not on a local level only — but on a state and federal level. We need to have some laws in place to handle these kind of things.
You know, when you’re in your own property, within a six-foot privacy fence, you have the expectation of privacy. We don’t know if he was looking at the girls. We don’t know if he was looking for something to steal. To me, it was the same as trespassing.
7. Merideth said he is looking into what legal action he could take in response to the incident. He said he only fired his weapon because it was hovering over his home.
The Academy of Model Aeronautics safety code states that unmanned aircraft, such as drones, may not be flown in a careless or reckless manner and needs to be launched at least 100 feet downwind of people.
The FAA states that drones cannot fly over buildings and adds that shooting them poses a substantial safety hazard. FAA spokesman Les Dorr said:
An unmanned aircraft hit by gunfire could crash, causing damage to persons or property on the ground, or it could collide with other objects in the air.
8. William H. Merideth explains why he shot down the drone.
Read more: WDRD.
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