Long Island man Gerard Chasteen shot a Mavik 2 Zoom drone out of the sky over his home in St. James with a shotgun on Saturday, local police tell the New York Post. The drone, being flown by Lynn Fodale and Teddy Henn, was on a mission to find a lost dog named Dezie when it was felled by Chasteen, who is now being charged with third-degree criminal mischief and prohibited use of a weapon.
Chasteen openly admitted to shooting down the $2,000 drone when approached by its owners who traced the downed craft to its last registered GPS position, according to the Post, saying “Yeah [I shot it], you can’t fly over my house.”
Whether Chasteen is correct in that assertion will be up to a judge, but drone-downers in other states have managed come out of similar incidents with little in the way of repercussions. A Kentucky man who was arrested for shooting down a quadcopter over his property eventually had charges of first-degree criminal mischief and first-degree wanton endangerment dismissed by a judge in 2015. A man who shot a drone in Nashville in 2016 avoided charges altogether when the deputy who responded to the incident reportedly could not identify a law that had been broken.
Of course none of these cases hold as precedent for this incident in New York, though Brendan Schulman, drone-lawyer turned VP of Policy & Legal Affairs for drone company DJI, has previously suggested to Popular Mechanics that firing on a drone could potentially be a violation of federal law.
For now, Chasteen awaits arraignment and Dezie remains missing.
Source: The New York Post