A Connecticut man flying a photography drone at Hammonasset Beach State Park narrowly escaped arrest after a passing woman assaulted him.
The young man recorded the May 12 interaction on his iPhone, later uploading the video to YouTube, MailOnline reports. The shocking footage shows 23-year-old Andrea Mears knocking the man to the ground, kicking him, and calling him a pervert.
After confronting the man and calling police, Mears apparently attempted to take his (perfectly legal) drone. Unaware that the man was videoing the incident with his phone, the woman talks to police on her own mobile, saying, “He’s taking pictures of people on the beach, with a, with a helicopter plane.” As Mears’ irritation with the drone pilot visibly grows, he begins packing up his things, when unexpectedly she approaches him and wrestles him to the ground while hitting, kicking, and scratching at him. At no point does the drone pilot fight back during the struggle, asking her to stop assaulting him as she rips away his shirt.
“You wanna take pictures?” Mears growls, adding, “Yeah. You’re gonna see how it feels when the police come!” After hitting him several times, she tells the drone operator to let go of her. “If you weren’t assaulting me,” he responds, “I wouldn’t be touching you.” Mears then screams “Then maybe you shouldn’t be taking pictures of people on the beach!” before lobbing obscenities at the drone operator.
Despite his repeated pleas, the assault only ends when her phone rings, and she gets up to answer it. The drone pilot called the cops, and when Mears told officers that she was the one who was assaulted, his video ended up proving her wrong. Mears was arrested for assault and breach of peace, The Daily Dot reports.
According to Photography is Not a Crime, a man claiming to be the drone pilot elaborated on the story in an online forum post:
“The police approached me very aggressively, believing her full story, and before anything else was said I brought up something that she missed… The fact that the cell phone in my hand has a camera…that was recording. I had video evidence that she went nuts completely unprovoked, and was the one that assaulted me. She was then charged with assault, and breach of peace and I gave the cops a copy of the video for their prosecution.”
The incident isn’t the first in which beach-goers felt harassed by a drone. Just last month, sunbathers in Virginia Beach, Virginia claimed that they felt “sexually harassed” by a drone that was flying too close to women on the beach. That incident ended when beach-goers confronted the drone operator, convincing him to leave, MailOnline reports.
Civilian drones never cease to be controversial. As The Inquisitr previously reported, the FAA has expressed concerns over the unmanned vehicles and their implications for air traffic control. What privacy implications drones may have for beach-goers, however, remains to be seen.
[Images via MailOnline]