Skip to comments.Kentucky Man Had Right to Shoot Down Drone, Judge Rules
Posted on 10/29/2015 6:53:40 AM PDT by Gamecock
Back in July, a Hillview, Kentucky man shot down a drone that was flying over his property. He was arrested and charged with criminal mischief and wanton endangerment for destroying the $1,800 unmanned aerial vehicle.
Now, a judge has cleared him of all charges.
William Meridith, 47, said his right to privacy made it ok to shoot down his neighbor's drone. The owner of the drone said he was simply flying it to get aerial images of another neighbor's house.
Meredith told WDRB about the incident:
"Sunday afternoon, the kids-my girls-were out on the back deck, and the neighbors were out in their yard,â Merideth said. "And they come in and said, 'Dad, there's a drone out here, flying over everybody's yard.' Well, I came out and it was down by the neighbor's house, about 10 feet off the ground, looking under their canopy that they've got in their back yard. I went and got my shotgun and I said, 'I'm not going to do anything unless it's directly over my property.'"
Earlier this week, Bullitt County District Court Judge Rebecca Ward ruled that since witnesses testified the drone was flying "below the tree line", Meredith has a right to shoot it down.
"He had a right to shoot at this drone, and Iâm gonna dismiss this charge," said Ward.
The drone pilot, David Boggs, provided video evidence to Ars Technica that his drone was actually flying over 200 feet above the ground.
Fly a drone over your neighbor’s house, it’s the same as criminal trespass.
200 feet away and he shot it down with a shotgun?
Thats 66 yards.
must be a tight pattern of shot
or the drone was a lot closer than he claims
note: I AM NOT an expert on the spread patter of shot at 66 yards- anyone here can help?
And no doubt also proved he was indeed flying it over his neighbor's property.
:: must be a tight pattern of shot ::
Nope. 30-inch “goose” barrel.
The trouble with drones is that you don’t know who is flying it. It could be one of Obama’s new “refugees” from the Middle East.
At some point the drone may have been flying at 200 feet, but I doubt it was when this guy was able to shoot it down with a shotgun.
Coulda been a slug
This was the guy whose daughters were out swimming in their backyard as that drone spied on them.
Glad common sense and justice prevailed.
Original post from August.....
(ping also to OP)
Yep, sure is
At 200 ft his pattern would have been thin . He would have several pellets hit the drone, most likely a prop or two, Very little damage.
If he “dusted” the drone, it was way closer than 200 ft.
There used to be a show on called Rocket City Rednecks. The main character was a rocket scientist in Alabama. The dad was a machinist who worked on most of the manned space flight rockets. The friend was a brilliant guy who just lived out in the woods. Child hood friend of the rocket scientist. The theme of the show was to save the world using a cross between redneck ingenuity and real world NASA smarts.
On one episode they tried to figure out how to save the world from asteroids. They launched watermelons (asteroids) through the air trying to shot them down with some anti-air/watermelon gizmo. They could never get the gizmo to work.
At the end of the episode the dad shot one out of the air with his deer rifle.
It was truly beautiful.
If it was just some kid’s quadcopter that accidentally strayed or was being played with in the street, then the guy would have needed to be locked up for being a nut.
If it has a camera on it, then stop flying it over people’s yards! You dont fly kites or other RC craft like that. Those of us that build these things as a hobby are getting sick of these “dude bros” behaving like douches and acting like they have no ability to control these machines. Go to a park if you need practice!
If you are going to spend hundreds on one, then try to fly it like you did.
“”Four guys came over to confront me about it, and I happened to be armed, so that changed their minds,” Merideth said.
“They asked me, ‘Are you the S-O-B that shot my drone?’ and I said, ‘Yes I am,’” he said. “I had my 40 mm Glock on me and they started toward me and I told them, ‘If you cross my sidewalk, there’s gonna be another shooting.’
Since shotguns, birdshot shells, are used to bring down geese and ducks in flight at around 200’ altitude it’s probably safe to assume that they could be effective on a slow moving or stationary drone hovering at the same height. For part of the flight the drone may well have been at a high altitude, but the judge took the home owner’s word that the drone pilot was playing voyeur and using it to take video of his sunbathing daughters. When this story was first posted I believed him too.
An armed society is a polite society.
“And no doubt also proved he was indeed flying it over his neighbor’s property.”
I notice he failed to mention the zoom capability of the cam. For that reason to me it makes no difference where the physical location of the drone was, it might as well been IN the back yard. just my 2 cent.
“An armed society is a polite society.”
Yes. yes they do!
I’ve successfully broken clays at 60 yards using #7.5 shot and a light modified choke, so going to #4 and a improved modified or full choke would do the job.
I have a feeling that Mr. Merideth’s next courtroom experience may not turn out so well for him.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.