Parents in Eagle River, Alaska, are demanding action after a drone was spotted following their children home from school. Local school children say the drone has been following them for days and has also been seen hovering over numerous homes by adults. Despite the concerns, local authorities say the private drone operator is not breaking any laws so there is nothing they can do.
The Alaska Dispatch News reports that the Anchorage Police Department has received several calls from citizens worried about a drone that has been seen following children home from school. Children attending Eagle River Elementary School say that the drone has been following them for days. One grandmother, Patricia Bailey-Ruiz, says she saw the drone with her own eyes as she was playing outside with her grandchildren after school.
“It came right down to us at the height of the light poles and just hovered there. And it was making a clicking noise and it was shifting around in the sky.”
Patricia says that one of the neighborhood children was approaching so she asked if they had seen the drone. The child told Patricia that the drone had been following them home from school for a couple days.
“I said, ‘Did you see the drone?’ and he said, ‘Oh, yeah, he has been out for a few days and he comes home with us from school, and follows kids to their houses.’ And that’s when I called Anchorage police.”
KTUU notes that police are unable to do anything to the drone operator as he hasn’t broken any laws. When discussing how to handle the drone flying over personal property, the police say that it is illegal to shoot down a drone with a firearm; however, they could throw rocks or use a slingshot to hit the drone if they felt “threatened” by it.
Though the man had not broken any laws, the police say they did speak to him and gave him a “stern talking to” about the drone use. The man then told the police was concerned about potential harm to his drone and the police informed him that if he didn’t want the drone harmed he should probably not fly it over private homes.
The man also claims he was not following the children and that the drone was flying high in the sky not next to any child.
Do you think there should be laws about drones hovering over private property? What do you think the families in the neighborhood should do about their drone problem?
[Image Credit: Getty Images/ Philipp Guelland / Stringer]