Kentucky Man Arrested For Shooting Down Drone ‘Spying’ On Young Girls

A Hillview, Kentucky man was arrested for shooting down a drone that hovered over his house and spied on his young daughters, WDRB reports.

William H. Merideth, 47, was inside his home when his daughter said she saw a drone outside. Merideth grabbed his shotgun and watched as the unmanned aircraft dipped below his neighbor’s canopy, then hovered above his own residence. Concerned that the operator could be spying on his daughters or canvassing his home, Merideth took aim and fired.

“Sunday afternoon, the kids – my girls – were out on the back deck, and the neighbors were out in their yard,” said Merideth. “And they come in and said, ‘Dad, there’s a drone out here flying over everybody’s yard.’”

Merideth wasted no time and quickly armed himself with a shotgun, but waited until the drone was positioned above his residence before taking action.

“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 under their back yard,” said Merideth. “I went and got my shotgun and I said, ‘I’m not going to do anything unless it’s directly over my property.’”

Ultimately, the drone found its way to Merideth’s home, and after it stayed stationary for several moments, the homeowner felt he had the right to defend his property.

“I didn’t shoot across the road, I didn’t shoot across my neighbor’s fences, I shot directly into the air,” said Merideth.

Moments later, a group of four men approached Merideth, ranting about their destroyed drone.

“They asked me, ‘Are you the S-O-B that shot my drone?’ and I said,’ Yes, I am,’” Merideth recounted of the event following the shooting. “I had my .40-caliber Glock on me and they started toward me and I told them, ‘If you cross my sidewalk, there’s going to be another shooting.’”

In the end, it wasn’t the drone operators who were arrested for invasion of privacy or trespassing, but Merideth.

“Well, we do have a city ordinance against discharging firearms in the city, but the officer made an arrest for a Kentucky Revised Statute violation,” said Hillview Police Detective Charles McWhirter.

Merideth feels his actions were justified and has no apologies for destroying the nearly $1,800 piece of equipment, reasoning that hovering over someone’s house is the same as trespassing.

“You know, when you’re in your own property, within a six-foot privacy fence, you have the expectation of privacy,” said Merideth. “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.”

Merideth was charged with first degree criminal mischief and first degree wanton endangerment, but plans to take legal action against the drone operators.

{ 101 comments… add one }
  • George December 24, 2016, 8:22 pm

    First of all, I own several guns and have a CCW, I also currently hold an FAA drone registration and legally fly a Chroma drone. I realize it’s irritating to see someone’s airborne camera flying over your property, I don’t do it and would recommend to anyone I’d see doing it to stop as neighbors get very upset very quickly now days. If it were MY property, I’d quickly attempt to find the drone operator (legally he has to fly within 600 ft. of himself, at an altitude under 400 feet, so he shouldn’t be hard to find) and TELL him to stop flying over residential property he doesn’t own. I’d call the police if he wouldn’t stop, because the police might well ward off a confrontation between him and a stupid armed neighbor. This guy should be flying elsewhere.
    HOWEVER, I’m not stupid enough to discharge a weapon in the air in a residential neighborhood. That bullet might destroy the drone, but likely the bullet will not be stopped by that lightweight mixture of printed circuit boards, small light motors, a battery, some wires, some plastic, some aluminum, and maybe some carbon fiber. That bullet will likely continue it’s now interrupted path in the sky until it starts it’s journey back down to earth, or down into a person, or a roof, or a car. But it WILL come down somewhere that may well prove to be an un-safe destination. That re-entry point will be nowhere near where the bullet was fired and could be several hundred feet askew from the gun that fired it. THAT’S why the police call the charge first degree wanton endangerment. When a bullet is fired, we need to KNOW where it’s going to stop, ie a target, some un-occupied land, but certainly not where it could rain down on someone.
    Why is our 2nd Amendment rights at risk over and over and over? Not because of an occasional hero that might help save a life, but because of stupid cowboys that can’t think of a better solution to their problem than “Ohh goodie, I get to shoot something to “protect” myself”, and …… does. The article also said he threatened to shoot the 4 unarmed men if they crossed his property line. Give me a break, they weren’t potential robbers, they were watching/helping their friend fly a drone cause it’s fun. I’m sure they were upset with the cowboy property owner, but nowere in the article did it say the property owner was threatened. It’s a good thing the property owner didn’t get uber stupid as he’d be in prison for a very long time. This guy just handled the whole situation terribly improperly. Right or wrong, he’s just an idiot.

    • Corporal Hardcorps July 8, 2017, 9:34 am

      If you don’t have a right to stand on a ladder and peer into a neighbor’s yard with a binocular, then you don’t have the right to fly a drone over his property and shoot high-resolution video for your personal enjoyment. As to the safety factor, the issues you raise would be valid if the homeowner had been using a rifle or handgun. Or, for that matter, if the shotgun had been loaded with a slug or buckshot. Chances are, though, the shotgun was loaded with birdshot, the pellets of which present little-to-no danger to anyone upon descent. My assessment: the drone pilot got what he deserved, and ought to have to pay any legal fees the homeowner incurs as a result of his justified defense of privacy.

    • Paleriger February 9, 2018, 6:56 pm

      Clearly you have no appreciation for privacy rights and have never heard of a shotgun, hence the drivel about falling bullets. Anybody who has Dove hunted more than 30 minutes has had spent shot fall on there heads and it’s no big deal. You are not a gun owner, you are a tech geek who happens to own guns. Take your misplaced rage and go away geek.

  • Dave September 10, 2016, 12:39 am

    If one was close enough to look in one of my windows, my crossbow would take it out of the air almost as fast as a shotgun

  • Terry March 18, 2016, 3:48 pm

    Just an update about where these are going. I have flown rc aircraft for twenty five years with a large established club in Virginia. Our premier book supplier Amazon is currently investigating using drones to deliver products in the near future. Now for people not familiar with the faa regs regarding the flight of a radio control aircraft you should stay below 400 feet. And I believe not fly at all within five miles of a small private airport. You even see any aircraft in your area you land immediately. I don’t know how Amazon will be able to pull this off but their is some discussion that they will follow the road system using GPS. Law enforcement is also very much interested in drones for surveillance as well as carrying non lethal devices. Folks I’m seventy and I have friends currently using drones in fire and rescue and they have saved lives..
    But you hover one around one of my windows and I will own it. You don’t need a gun to shoot one down you just need to mix up its receiver. Not hard to do. Then when the guilty party comes to retrieve their property they may explain to the police officers what exactly it was doing outside of your window with its camra on. If it recorded something the police will then be able to file the proper changes…

    • Doug September 9, 2016, 11:16 am

      how do you “mix up the receiver”? wouldn’t non-lethal methods like bean bags work to take them down or does that still quailify as discharge of a firearm?

      • Gary September 9, 2016, 1:45 pm

        Yes, it’s the same as firing a regular round. Because it uses gun powder. In some cities even firing a airgun (pellet or BB gun) is a no no, cause it’s firing a projectile…..liberals, everywhere.

    • 1db February 9, 2018, 4:22 am

      yes just take in the house and wait for police to view the data and I’m sure everything would be valid for the home owner after that.

  • Reality Bites March 18, 2016, 10:20 am

    Kentucky, not just the most backward state in the universe….. but they have the dumbest cops in the union. tucky cops couldn’t find their butt with written directions in small words. I’m surprised they even knew what a drone was…. the losers running it were probably their friends hence the arrest.

    It would seem in “Tucky” the cops encourage voyeurs and perverts.

  • B Hall March 18, 2016, 5:45 am

    I would love to shake this man’s hand for protection of his property and children. You are a hero a beginning of something new. Please fly your drones over my house. Let me show you a new photo before you go dark. He had every right to protect. WHAT WOULD YOU DO?????

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude July 16, 2016, 7:23 pm

      Yeah, I’ll bet those beef jerky cops wouldn’t hesitate to shoot it down if it was looking through their windows???

  • Michael Lindley, MD March 18, 2016, 3:54 am

    Case dismissed:

    “I think it’s credible testimony that his drone was hovering from anywhere, for two or three times over these people’s property, that it was an invasion of their privacy and that they had the right to shoot this drone,” Bullitt County Judge Rebecca Ward said.

    P.S. The coincidence of the county’s name is the icing on the cake.

  • Kauai Dude September 19, 2015, 8:51 pm

    I think they should come under same laws as aircraft. 500 ft min fly zone that would keep them out of the canopy and your backyard

  • David Ford August 15, 2015, 2:38 am

    I would have shot it down with buckshot and hid the shotgun. The children would have taken it into the house and bagged it for disposal. Next step is to admit NOTHING and deny EVERYTHING!
    “You lost something?” “I don’t not know anything about you.” “No, I would not want nor take any of your cheap crap.” “Go home to your mother and take better care of your toys!”

  • Damon August 7, 2015, 4:20 pm

    One thing I’ve seen from other news outlets, and neither in the article or comments here, is that Merideth fired a load of #8 birdshot at the drone. The expended shotshell is thus marked, and is in evidence. So, Jay, I’m sorry, but at 193 feet of altitude, #8 would be a 9’+ diameter pattern, with one pellet per every 8″-14″ inches, and that would be from a full choke with a 24″ barrel. I freely admit to knowing very little about UAV aircraft, whether fixed wing or rotary, but I know a hell of a lot about bird hunting and the dispersal of shot from 12 gauge shotguns. Perhaps one or two, or even four #8 pellets would be sufficient to “shoot down” the UAV in question, but from nearly 200 feet, #8 wouldn’t penetrate the breast feathers of a pheasant. Somebody’s got their story mixed up, and based on my personal experience, I don’t think it’s the shooter. The physical fact of a shootdown and crash suggest that the UAV was much lower than 193 feet. Much, much lower.

    Also, for the “dangerous fall of shot” crowd, #8 shot is approximately 1/2 the diameter of a BB, which are .177 caliber, and each pellet weighs approximately 0.00244 ounces (There are 410 #8 pellets per ounce). So, the rate of gravitational acceleration is 35 feet/per second/per second (35 feet per second squared), which means that the end result at the ground (assuming the shot was fired straight up, and expended its ballistic acceleration in the ascent, as Merideth stated) would be being rained on by .09 caliber lead balls travelling (if my math is correct) at approximately 103 miles per hour. You would notice, but there is not enough mass per pellet to cause even minor injury.

  • Doug White August 6, 2015, 6:41 pm

    I am guessing that some kind of law enforcement is who was behind it. I would have shot it down no matter what. Its bs flying around that low anywhere.Dead gyro.

  • Ron August 5, 2015, 4:10 pm

    Don’t take this the wrong way. But I would rather use the laser on my gun to send a warning to the drone operator
    that they are not welcome at my home with their drone. Maybe if he can’t see he will probably move along or crash.

  • Jay August 5, 2015, 7:26 am

    I cannot get over how many gun owners here are jumping to conclusions without having all the facts. When the anti-gun crowd behaves this way towards firearm ownership, everyone is dismayed and distressed and up in arms (excuse the pun). The first thing out of the gunner’s mouth is, “These idiots don’t know what they’re talking about. They probably haven’t held a gun before, much less shot one.”

    In the vast majority of the posts above, all you have to do is change the word “drone” with “gun” and it’s all the same.

    It’s a two-way street, my friends.

    • Bones August 5, 2015, 6:41 pm

      We don\’t care what you think Jay….Get over it….The bottom line is this…..If a frickin drone comes over OUR HOUSES !!……We\’re SMOKIN IT BRO!!!…GET IT?

  • Doc423 August 4, 2015, 1:01 pm

    The DA will drop the charges, you watch…and Merideth should sue the shit out of those perverted drone owners for criminal trespassing and invasion of privacy!

    • mtman2 March 18, 2016, 7:50 am

      Yep, God only knows what could be captured on video thru your bedroom window and end up on the internet.
      Same as a spy camera thru a hole in wall like in Erin Andrews $75-million lawsuit in the Tennessee hotel-cam ordeal.
      Tho I’m sure Law Enforcement on all levels are looking forward to their use ~!

      • Mahatma Muhjesbude July 16, 2016, 7:31 pm

        You’re right bro, LE is already using them, AND ABUSING people’s rights with them. See the story about the ‘ar med drones for police in North Dakota, and grit your teeth. Especially comment by the moron county sheriff who said he ‘ doesn’t need probable cause to use the drones, he will use the drones to Find probable cause!!! (or check my article on Police Drone Attacks on Good video there in the article on a drone we all wish we could have!)

  • X-Road August 4, 2015, 8:08 am

    I had the same thing happen to me over my back yard here in rural Vermont. I was not quick enough to get my shotgun, but was able to follow the drone back to it’s operator down the road a couple of hundred yards where I confronted him. When I told him if I caught it over my back yard again I’d shoot it down, he told me he had a legal right to fly it wherever he wanted. I told him “we’ll argue legalities over the pieces at my feet if it happens again.” Good luck Mr. Merideth, we all need it in this wacky Liberal world that we live in where something as basic as the expectation of privacy in your own backyard is no longer considered a reasonable expectation, an unwritten right.

  • Manshooter August 4, 2015, 6:57 am

    In the town I live in, within the great state of NY. (Being sarcastic because gun laws in NY are second only to CA and sometimes worse!) Here a pellet gun is considered in many areas to be no different at all than a Real Firearm. So shooting it with a pellet gun or a BB gun would get you the same fine, and or jail time as using a real firearm.
    I know its stupid, but you should check your local laws. The up side is less noise, fewer know that You actually fired at it..if need be.

  • Edward August 4, 2015, 6:56 am

    Tough to buy into the 193 feet point you made. That’s 64 yards, an awfully long shot with a shotgun tryingg to bring something down. Sure it wasn’t 191.5 feet or 187.275 feet?

  • David Kwelberg August 4, 2015, 1:30 am

    I strongly believe that the “Shooter” in this case was and remains fully within his rights. We don’t know the reason the operators were flying over people’s homes and in there yards but they did not have those homeowner’s permission and they were looking into yards where young girls were sun bathing. People have the right to there privacy and have the right to defend that right. This is a case of HIGH TECK PEEPING TOM activates. I feel the operators of the drone should be jailed and NOT the Homeowner.

  • Larry Rockwell August 3, 2015, 9:15 pm

    Perfect target practice for ” any pellet rifle” that one might have in his/her armory!!!

  • THOMAS PLYMESSER August 3, 2015, 6:59 pm

    I believe there is a ruling in this country that you can file for your air space above your property clear to infinity!

  • manshooter August 3, 2015, 5:09 pm

    If I were to fly a plane or a copter 20′ over your and your neighbors homes, I would be arrested. And rightly so. Not only for privacy violations, but for safety violations as well.
    In my opinion if he was shooting straight up with a shotgun it would probably be safer than a wrist rocket. Simply because a ball bearing dropping from a couple hundred feet if he missed would hurt you a lot less than some bird shot.
    We all know what can happen when a “group” of people that are ticked off can turn into in a short period of time. So if he had not warned them, and took a beating who is in the wrong? Or if they tried to attack him out of anger and he shot one or more of them, is that a better solution?
    I did not read anything about him “pointing” a gun at them. It is my understanding that he warned them if they trespassed on his property there could be another shooting. Seems more than reasonable to me.
    As he fired the gun within city limits he will probably be fined. As for the drone, if you fly into someone else’s property your toy has NO expection of safety. Be it hitting a phone line, a ball bat, or a load of #7 shot!
    The only thing we can be certain of is if this had happened in Texas it would never have even made the news!
    If this kind of invasion is allowed, don’t be surprised if you see video of you or you and a loved one on utube having sex recorded through your bedroom window! Who will be yelling about the rights of the pilot then! Not even the sheep! 😉
    You want to fly drones? More power to you, have a ball. But do it on your own property, or in a public place set up for RC airplanes, etc.
    Fly it in my yard, you better bring a basket to take it home in! But you better call first before you show up.

  • Pete August 3, 2015, 4:58 pm

    It was only a matter of time. If this article is correct and there are no bombshell surprises that change the circumstances, this is the precedent setting case. Win or lose the whole argument here and now folks. Where do we send money for his legal defense fund?

    • X-Road August 4, 2015, 8:26 am

      Bingo ! Sign me up !

  • Jason August 3, 2015, 4:06 pm

    How sad he has 2 daughters those creeps who had the balls to actually confront him should have been locked up! I can’t stress enough what a major violation of privacy , and now my arresting that law biding gentleman , they have just armed sex offenders , crooks God only know what else !

  • vonrock August 3, 2015, 2:23 pm

    paintballs, fire extinguishers, pressure washers, slingshots..with paintballs, garden hose, Damn, trouble with ammo is what goes up comes down, thats the ouch. Electric Warfare, Learn and teach DRONE HACKING, send them into trees and rivers, roof tops and walls, they do it, we can too.

  • Gunner August 3, 2015, 1:12 pm

    Checkout this drone shoot down story and see what you think about four grown perverts playing with their joy sticks while hovering over this man’s private property while hoping for some fantasy with his young daughters. Wouldn’t you shoot it down??? HELL YES!!!!

    • Jay August 5, 2015, 7:13 am

      Gunner, you use the same logic against UAVs that anti-gunners use against firearms.

      • Joe September 9, 2016, 9:06 am

        Jay,,go back to hugging trees,serious men are talking here,,

  • MXRat August 3, 2015, 1:09 pm

    I would agree. I am a 42 year adult that grew up as a troubled youngster. I would agree, drones are perfect for criminal activity. I am a owner of ten acres, love to shoot & love the RC world, but I CAN PROMISE IF I SEE A DRONE OVER MY PLACE, it’s coming down. If I didn’t want privacy I wouldn’t live on land, I would live in a nieghborhood like most peeps!!!

  • Chief August 3, 2015, 11:47 am

    Hmmm ,this all seems like the start of something like a company called Cyberdine Technologies who awakens the A.I. and then ,the terminators .

  • wm August 3, 2015, 11:37 am

    Micro stamp every component of the drone. Every one must be registered. Mandatory 5 years in prison if someone is caught violating any conditions of ownership or use.

  • WillB August 3, 2015, 10:02 am

    The part about his daughters was apparently added after the arrest. They live with his ex-. In earlier editions of the story, he simply shot down the drone because it was flying over his yard; then when the owner of the drone appeared, he also said there would be another shooting if he did not get off his property.
    He was arrested for the latter, not the former.

    • Larry August 3, 2015, 11:50 am

      Back when I was young & tough, I would still not be expected to fight off four angry guys coming at me. I believe they were lucky that the homeowner warned them they were getting ready to be shot & they were lucky to be smart enough to take that warning to heart.

    • Z August 3, 2015, 1:18 pm

      I wonder who it was that doctored the story to create the narrative.

  • DanF. August 3, 2015, 9:09 am

    Recently in two separate wild fires in So.Cal. aircraft dropping water and fire retardants were grounded because some pinheads were flying drones to get a better look at the fire. Such activity delayed control of the fires and resulted in additional property damage and risk to firefighters’ lives. I’d bet that if there had been someone around with the ability to shoot them down they would have been gone in a New York minute.
    In a sense a drone is no more than an extension of the person(s) flying it. Thus, if someone comes to your front door to (apparently) hand out religious material or sell you candy, there is not much you can do about it even if you suspect they are really up to no good. But if you were to find that same person in your fenced back yard checking out your kids and your goods, they sure as hell are guilty of trespass and subject to being detained at gunpoint and shot if they put up a fight.
    Drones are no different. Want to run your drone up and down a street? Have at it–even if I and others find it irritating. Put your drone in my back yard, on my property, in my airspace low enough to be blasted with a shotgun? You have just lost your expensive toy. And if I get hauled into court I will fight any charges–and win.

    • Damon August 7, 2015, 4:36 pm

      Another thing to consider, even beyond property and airspace rights, and the theoretical right to privacy, is that people can, and have, armed remotely-operated quadcopters. In the examples you gave above (people handing out candy or religious pamphlets) replace either of those with “solenoid-operated, remotely-fired semiautomatic handgun”, and you have a completely different kettle of fish, don’t you? Go to YouTube and search “Flying Gun”, and you’ll see why I, personally, would scrap any UAV anywhere on my property, by any means necessary.

  • Robert Patterson August 3, 2015, 8:43 am

    I own a drone and I would expect the same thing to happen to me if I was in somebody’s backyard and I would do the same thing also. The only difference is that I would of used my bb gun or wrist rocket you can even take them down with the a blast of water from the garden hose they aren’t that tough and they can break fairly easy.

    • Jay August 3, 2015, 4:28 pm

      That’s just it. He wasn’t in anyone’s backyard. The shooter lied. The quad never descended below 193 feet.

      • Allen August 4, 2015, 11:27 am

        After reading the comments, I don’t believe the drone operator at all. 193 feet is almost 65 yards. Unless the shooter was using some big 3 1/2 inch goose loads and very tight choke, it would be hard to bring down anything at that range with a shotgun. ………….. I tend to believe the homeowner (particularly since the drone operator ‘lost’ the SD card.

      • Gunr March 18, 2016, 11:11 pm

        Some people are jusr born dumb and think they have all the answers as if they were there.
        Jay is talkng out his back side.

      • Wil March 19, 2016, 2:31 pm

        193 feet is still in my sovereign airspace directly above my property. Drones are moving targets IMHO.

  • David W Stephenson August 3, 2015, 8:40 am

    I would have done the same thing, I really don’t believe that the victim will be charged with anything, the drone’s owner is in violation of the property owners privacy. You are intitled to the expectaion of privacy on your own property, and what if the drone was looking at the girls or maybe looking to rob or even looking inside the windows?

  • John August 3, 2015, 8:34 am

    This is a bunch of B.S. If you want to keep your drone safe then keep it on your own property. If you are invading my privacy on my property then you will get your drone back in pieces.

    • Chuck Gee August 3, 2015, 12:38 pm

      Or try to find where I buried it !

  • Jay August 3, 2015, 8:22 am

    I agree with Meredith on this one! The reason that the law isn’t on his side is the fact that they use them and use them! They dont want you to think and or believe that you own the air space above your property or the ground beneath your feet! In that way they have taken away more of your rights and most people don’t even know it or care!

  • John August 3, 2015, 8:19 am

    Fly your drone over my property – expect to lose your drone!

  • Doug August 3, 2015, 7:46 am

    So walking or driving onto someone’s property is trespassing, but as long as I am not touching the ground it is OK, right, Jay? I am going to get a hovercraft so I don’t have to worry about those pesky property laws any more.

  • Edward August 3, 2015, 6:57 am

    So who owned and was operating the drone? Was it law enforcement or a government agency conducting a “lawful” operation? Or was it a group of private individuals jacking around intruding into people’s privacy just because they had a toy to snoop?

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude July 16, 2016, 7:40 pm

      Law enforcement should have a warrant if they are deploying their drones anywhere other than on public streets. Where you will soon see them a lot more often in big city dense high traffic areas because of their ability not to get stuck in traffic like normal patrol cars.

  • Edward August 3, 2015, 6:57 am

    So who owned and was operating the drone? Was it law enforcement or a government agency conducting a “lawful” operation? Or was it a group of private individuals jacking around intruding into people’s privacy just because they had a toy to snoop?

  • Jay August 3, 2015, 6:40 am

    As an FFL holder who files drones, I’m very disappointed in the reporting, or lack thereof, in this article. It does not tell the whole story. It leaves out the other side–the drone pilot’s. His side is equally compelling.

    The shooter was wrong, period. The drone pilot has the digital evidence (telemetry) to prove it. It’s shooters like this that gives the rest of us a bad name. Get ALL the facts before you make such snap judgments.

    • sasnak1 August 3, 2015, 7:51 am

      So your saying it’s ok to look at two young girls sunbathing in their back yard with a six foot privacy fence.
      I must disagree with you .

      • Jay August 3, 2015, 4:19 pm

        It’s obvious you know nothing about UAVs. Hopefully, know more about firearms. From 200 feet in the air with a wide angle lens, people are nothing more than little indistinguishable figures. You can’t determine gender, features, or anything specific. There’s a video on YouTube about dropping an iPhone from 200 feet. Watch it and see what a person look s like from 200 feet with a wide angle lens.

        My point is DO NOT jump to conclusions until you have both sides of the story–all the facts.

        • Rocky August 3, 2015, 9:59 pm

          No where in the article did it even remotely suggest the drone was 200 feet above the ground. The only reference to altitude of the drone was in discussion of it hovering in the neighbor’s yard “about 10 feet off the ground, looking under their canopy”, and thus quite likely into the privacy of their home.

          Defend the drone operator as you please, the fact remains that the operator had no business spying on the girls, nor did he have any business peering under the neighbor’s canopy. There are any number of places he could have flown without invading the privacy of the neighbors.

          • Jay August 5, 2015, 7:07 am

            Rocky, don’t rely on just one source for you information. More often than not, any one story can incomplete and/or incorrect. Get all facts before jumping to conclusions.

    • Alan August 3, 2015, 8:21 am

      You fly your piece of crap over my property and the same thing will happen. It’s my property your drone has no more business on my property than you do.

      • Jay August 3, 2015, 4:21 pm

        It was NOT on his property. Get the facts straight.

    • Bill Shrum August 3, 2015, 9:09 am

      Do you use a mill bastard file?

    • Rich August 3, 2015, 10:26 am

      True, this story only gives one side. Where is the Drone Pilot’s side recounted, that you feel is so compelling?

      • Jay August 3, 2015, 4:25 pm

        Go to WDRB’s website or do a web search for “UPDATE: Drone owner disputes shooter’s story; produces video he claims shows flight path” then read the story and watch the video.

        • Anthony August 3, 2015, 10:18 pm

          Did just like you said Jay. Real convient for drone operator the sd card video was missing. With it missing then no incrminating evidence against drone operator. No evidence to show how high drone was actualling operating. As for evidence drone operator gave no possibility he was using old or modified statistics on drone operation. P.S. His property looked plenty big enough to learn how to operate and have fun with drone without flying over people’s houses. As far as camera’s there are some high definition one’s that can look down from 200-300 feet and give very detailed pictures (small enough to put on a drone).

          • Jay August 5, 2015, 7:10 am

            Tony, don’t know what you watched, but you are incorrect. The quad has telemetry (black box) that records the flight. It will be used as evidence when the case goes to court.

        • Mike August 4, 2015, 11:44 am

          Sounds like your friends with these scumbags. I hope they face criminal charges for stalking minors. They sound like pedophiles. Really, four guys riding around in a van with their drone, going into neighborhoods and peeking into backyards. Definite perverts. Cops should check their computers, I bet you’ll find four criminals.

    • Ryan August 3, 2015, 10:34 am

      I agree with Jay, just because you assume that the drone operator was doing something wrong or immoral, does not give you right to destroy property or put others in danger. I also own firearms, drones, property, and a firearms manufacturing license and it is my responsibility to act in a safe manor with all of them. The right thing to do is notify the proper authorities. This incident from Kentucky makes everyone look bad, the law biding firearm owners and the law biding UAV owners.

      • Mike August 4, 2015, 11:49 am

        So your saying that as a citizen of the USA, and you have a crime taking place, in your opinion, that all you can do is pick up the phone? You are defending four scumbags peeping on people on their private property. I’m guessing your a scumbag like them.

      • Wil March 19, 2016, 2:35 pm

        If it’s over my property, there is something wrong 🙁

    • Don August 3, 2015, 11:37 am

      I would be interested in hearing the drone owner’s side of the story. I am not taking sides, as this case has the opportunity to set a huge precedent. If there was a legal reason for the drone to be “surveying” the area, I would imagine that prior notification would be put out.

      I also can see the hazards of firing into the air inside city limits. Fall of shot anyone? Sounds like at the altitude involved, the same results could have been accomplished with a baseball.

      But yes, as a former UAV pilot for the Navy, I would like to hear the “other side of the story”…

  • Mike Washburn August 3, 2015, 4:21 am

    When I was a teenager in So Calif in about the 50’s a homeowner “controlled” 16 ft over the highest building on his property. Also, there was a maximum size limit on radio controlled aircraft without requiring some sort of licensing/permits, whatever. Then, as with any aircraft, there was a minimum altitude over populated areas. Sorry I can’t fill in any more detail, this was 65 years ago.

  • Brian July 31, 2015, 9:01 am

    Property Law
    The Property Rights of Airspace
    By Alan R. Romero
    In property law, owning land includes owning the earth under the surface and air above the surface. While ownership under the surface theoretically extends to the center of the earth, ownership of the air above the surface doesn’t extend endlessly into space.

    Defining boundaries in the air

    A landowner owns as much of the air above the surface as can reasonably use in connection with the surface. That isn’t a clear line, obviously. Land wouldn’t be useable at all if one didn’t own some of the air above the surface; almost any use of the land requires using some airspace above the surface.

    Certainly building any kind of structure on the surface occupies airspace. Because you have the right to reasonably use your land as long as you don’t unreasonably interfere with others doing the same, you have the right to reasonably use both the surface and the air above it unless you thereby interfere with someone else’s use of property.

    So even though you may occupy only 20 feet of the air for a long time, under the common law principle, you can later decide to build a 200-foot building unless it would be a nuisance.

    Although the upper limit of an owner’s airspace isn’t clearly defined, it certainly doesn’t extend into navigable airspace. The upper airspace belongs to the public and is open to air travel.

    Using and protecting airspace

    Ownership of airspace is just like ownership of land. The owner can use and enjoy it reasonably. Zoning and other statutes often restrict the height of buildings. Such statutes don’t actually declare the unused airspace to belong to the public, however; they merely restrain the owner’s use of that space. So landowners may own more airspace than the law allows them to use.

    Not only can the landowner use and enjoy the airspace, but she can also convey it to others. For example, a condominium may divide up airspace among individual unit owners. An owner can also give another party, such as a utility company, an easement to use some of the airspace.

    An entry into another’s airspace is a trespass even if the trespasser doesn’t touch the surface of the earth. Airplanes may trespass by flying low over a person’s property, for example. An airplane trespasses by flying low enough over the surface to interfere with the owner’s reasonable use and enjoyment of her surface.

    Of course, if the airplane doesn’t fly over a person’s surface, just nearby, the airplane’s interference with the surface because of noise and light wouldn’t be a trespass — but it could be a nuisance. And if the government’s flying the plane, the landowner could only seek just compensation for the government taking an easement through their airspace

    Using this common law definition from “The property right of airspace for Dummies” and coupled with the 4th Amendment right to privacy. I believe this man had every right to shoot down this low-flying drone outside of his home, on his property.

    • howard2374 August 3, 2015, 8:53 am

      If countries own the airspace over their nations (and shoot down un-authorized aircraft), the should should individual landowners be authorized.

    • howard2374 August 3, 2015, 8:55 am

      If countries own the airspace over their nations (and shoot down unauthorized aircraft), the so should individual landowners be authorized.

    • TJ August 4, 2015, 4:25 pm

      Just like when the U.S. was overflying the USSR, he only airspace you own, is what you can defend. in this case, I would say the drone was flying low enough to be in range of his AAA.

    • Rich August 6, 2015, 11:45 am

      Fixed winged aircraft are required to stay above 500 feet. Unfortunately rotary wing aircraft which includes most drones do not have that restriction. Might be a good idea to have FAA look into an altitude restriction on drones over private residential property.

  • Thomas Reyburn July 30, 2015, 3:26 pm

    It is true that we do not own the air above our property (although that is still disputed in many cases) but we do have the right to protect ourselves and our families from improper invasion of privacy. I think the burden is on the drone operators to explain why they were snooping on other peoples’ property. The investigating officer appears to have been a City LEO who is probably overtrained in the art of not offending the offenders. A Sheriff’s Deputy would have handled that differently.

    • Bones August 5, 2015, 6:27 pm

      Yea right…a sheriff deputy? They can\’t make a decision about which direction to wipe their ass in… I have many stories about deputy fife….anyway..I\’d have shot it down without thinking twice….and be happy about it!

  • George July 30, 2015, 12:02 pm

    I totally agree with Merideth, but the law is not on his side. Home owners do not own the air-space above or around their homes. Isn’t that sad? I’ve made a forecast though that soon you will see anti-drone drones and the creation of micro-SAMs as home owners seek to protect themselves from these invasive perverts.

    • DRAINO July 30, 2015, 1:09 pm

      I would have do exactly the same thing. If it was low enough to look in windows or under canopies, it was too low and posed a threat. It was unidentified. Who knows who was operating it or what it may have been carrying. If its flying 100 feet over the house, that’s one thing…but as close as it sounds like it was….Boom! Fortunately, I don’t live in town, but I probably still would have shot it down if I did. I hope this makes mainstream news and goes big. Yes, we need laws to protect us from drones or to set boundaries for these crazy things.

    • Paul August 3, 2015, 7:04 am

      That’s BS. I would have done the same thing…..can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t shoot it down. Although, I may have toyed with it a bit first by wounding it and making it suffer!

      • Dave Hicks August 3, 2015, 9:46 am

        I agree ,I don’t live in town either so if i shoot down a drone the owner of the thing will have to pick it up in person.That way we can talk about things face to face.

    • Bull Terrior August 3, 2015, 10:20 am

      I’ll do the same thing to any goddamned drone hovering over my house.

      • Bull Terrior August 3, 2015, 10:24 am

        Don’t violate my free speech.

    • Jay August 3, 2015, 4:41 pm

      The problem is most folks here are giving the exact knee-jerk reaction to just one side of this story the same way the anti-gunners do when they post stupid statements about a shooting. What’s the difference between: All guns are bad and need to be taken away! and All drone are bad and need to be shot down? Such statements put you in the same category as the anti-gun nuts, and we all know how smart they are!

      The lying shooter doesn’t know any more about guns as he does about UAVs, claiming he was armed with his “40 mm Glock” when four guys approached his property. Anyone who says he is armed with a 40 mm Glock is not to be taken seriously.

      • michael August 3, 2015, 7:50 pm

        10mm and 40 Cal can easily be confused by the writer of the story as both 40 caliber is like a 10mm short and 10mm is like a 40 caliber magnum.

        • ken hoffman August 5, 2015, 10:26 pm

          Sorry, sir, but it was the man himself that said it was a 40 mm Glock. Check him out in the video. I worked on A-10s and we had 30mm Gatling guns — bet that drone would be mush up against that, too!

      • Mike August 4, 2015, 11:22 am

        You sound like a lawyer defending a convicted child molester. Your argument is nonsense. I’d shoot the damn drone too. Those four guys sound like a NAMBLA outing.

      • TJ August 4, 2015, 4:22 pm

        the article says caliber, not mm, pay attention.

        • Jay August 5, 2015, 7:03 am

          Not in other articles. Read more. For what ever reason, the author of the above article chose to correct it. That’s poor reporting.

      • DC August 6, 2015, 6:01 pm

        Plz read it agn before commenting it clearly states 40 cal not mm and your worried about others doin dumb things lol

      • L. Loding September 30, 2015, 3:16 pm

        Why do you presume he’s lying about the drone because he called a 40 cal a 40 mm? People call refrigerant “Freon” which is a trade name for DuPont’s version. Other people make refrigerant and don’t call it Freon! When someone is ready to sneeze, they say hand me a Kleenex please. Even if they know the only thing available are Puffs. All people that use those terms are not necessarily idiots or liars. But I bet the guys that approached him didn’t argue the caliber of the gun.

    • Kim August 4, 2015, 12:40 pm

      It is not the fact that the drone occupied air space above or around his home. The problem is hovering with a camera while his 16 year old daughter is sun bathing or in the pool. This is an absolute invasion of privacy. There is a fence around the yard which indicates an attempt to keep his yard private for safety and privacy. He cant put an aircraft net over his house to stop the people with Drones from snooping or worse producing internet film of innocent victims and the exploitation of minors. The man had no idea what the intent of the Drone operator was(is). If the same thing happened to me I would do the same thing, what if it was weaponized? Isn’t a camera enough of a weapon to ruin a persons life. That teen did not deserve being spied on. Then I would go searching for the operator and “give him his Drone back!” Privacy is my absolute Right!!!

      I think the Drones a great, my son has one. He uses his to produce fly overs of events. Have some respect and courtesy while flying. These perverts are going to ruin Drone flying for the good folks with only good intentions.

      • BDub August 6, 2015, 3:18 pm

        I think your last statement sums it up nicely.

        Basically I feel that if you have a camera equipped drone and you are flying it over private property, you are in the wrong.

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