Kentucky Man Had Right to Shoot Down Drone, Judge Rules

Josh WolfordTechnology

Share this Post

Optimized-Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 10.48.21 AM

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," 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 I'm 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.

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf