On July 26 a Hillview, Kentucky, man was arrested and charged with “first degree criminal mischief and first degree wanton endangerment” after shooting down a drone that was “hovering” over his property.
According to WDRB, the man–47-year-old William H. Merideth–said the drone was hovering while his daughters “were out on the back deck.” Merideth said his girls came in and said, “Dad, there’s a drone out there flying over everybody’s yard.”
Merideth’s neighbor, Kim VanMeter, said she has a 16-year-old daughter who lies out in the backyard and the drone hovered over their house, “stayed for a few moments and then she finally waved and it took off.” VanMeter added that the idea of “a drone hovering with a camera is creepy and weird.”
Merideth came outside with a shotgun and saw the drone over the neighbor’s yard and determined not to shoot unless it came back over his property. He said, “Within a minute or so, here it came. It was hovering over top of my property, and I shot it out of the sky.”
He checked his surroundings before doing so and said, “I didn’t shoot across the road, I didn’t shoot across my neighbor’s fences, I shot directly into the air.”
Merideth said “four guys” showed up moments later and allegedly called him an “S.O.B.” and asked if he was the one who shot down the drone. Merideth told them he had, in fact, shot the drone down. The guys then began moving toward him and Merideth said, “If you cross my sidewalk, there’s gonna be another shooting.”
That guys relented, but the police showed up and arrested Merideth.
Merideth is unapologetic, saying he plans to pursue legal action against the owner of the drone.
He said, “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.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com.