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Man Shoots Drone Flying Over His Backyard

Drones have become big news lately. The concerns are not only large surveillance and attack drones the United States Air force and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) uses in the War on Terror, such as the Predator Drone. There are also fears regarding the smaller, publicly-available drones anyone can purchase and operate for less than $1,500.

used-pump-action-shotgun-1-1454122The drones sold for personal use are legal for anyone to use without any kind of license, but they cannot be used for commercial purposes. If they were used for commercial purposes, such as filming movies or package delivery, it would fall under the authority of United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which does not permit the commercial use of drones. This is what Amazon is trying to change so they can deliver packages by drones. It is also a law that these drones can’t be operated in restricted airspace.

New models of drones are coming out all the time and they being purchased in larger numbers than ever before. In fact, amateur drone use is becoming a major hobby. Not everyone is happy about seeing all these drones in their backyard. This is especially true for one man in Kentucky who was recently arrested for shooting a drone out of the sky according to a recent news report from Digital Trends.

The suspect has allegedly stated he was in his backyard relaxing with his family while his teenage daughter was sunbathing. The man first noticed the drone down at a neighbor’s house about 10 feet off the ground, hovering, so it could look under a canopy the family have over their backyard. At this point, the man said he went and got his shotgun and continued to watch the drone. He said he decided he wasn’t going to shoot it unless it was hovering over his property. He did not want it over his home and did not want it watching his children.

He said the drone came over his property and was watching them. Apparently, his teenage daughter waved at the drone and it just stayed hovering above them. At this point, homeowner took his shotgun and fired at it causing it crash in a nearby field. He said he did not shoot across the street or into this neighbor’s property, but straight up.

As our Boston personal injury attorneys can explain, if someone fires a gun in residential neighborhood, and someone is injured by a stray bullet or shotgun shell, the victim or his or her family may have a valid personal injury claim against shooter even if the injury was accidental.

In the case of the drone shooting, police can to investigation the shoot and placed homeowner under arrest for first-degree criminal mischief and wanton endangerment. He has stated he was justified in what he did, because the drone was invading his privacy and over his home, and he had a right to shoot it.   He has not been convicted of any crime in connection with this incident, so we will have to wait and see what the court thinks regarding the merits of his defense.

If you are injured in an accident in Boston, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Kentucky man arrested after shooting down $1,800 drone with shotgun, July 2015, Digital Trends

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