Saturday, October 31, 2015

Death to the Drones.

A Kentucky judge dismissed the charges against a man who shot down a drone that was hovering over his yard. WDRB reported:

A Bullitt County District Court Judge has dismissed all charges against a man who shot down a drone he said was flying over his property.

The court hearing for William Merideth began Monday afternoon. He shot down a drone in Hillview earlier this year.

Merideth said the operator was violating his privacy and spying on his family, but Hillview police arrested Merideth for firing his gun within city limits and charged him with wanton endangerment.

Monday's hearing in Bullitt County lasted just over two hours and based on the judge's ruling, William Merideth says he feels vindicated.

"Was it handled the right way, I don't think so but justice came out in the end," said Merideth.

It's what he’s been saying all along, since shooting down David Boggs’ drone in July. Meredith says it was hovering over his Hillview property and he thought it was spying on his family.

"I was in my right to protect my family and my property," said Merideth.

“Do you also agree that you chose to allow that drone to hover over some of those people's property there on Earlywood Way?" said Merideth’s Attorney.

“No that's not true," replied Boggs.

During Monday's hearing, Boggs testified that flight data showed the drone was flying higher than Meredith stated. But Judge Rebecca Ward says that since at least two witnesses could see the drone below the tree line, it was an invasion of privacy.

"He had a right to shoot at this drone, and I'm gonna dismiss this charge," said Ward.

Judge Ward dismissed both charges against Merideth including criminal mischief and wanton endangerment.

Meanwhile, Dan Bilzerian shows the proper way to handle a drone.


Lovie Cheeks said...

You've offended a lotta Muslims with the above video. But, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Shotguns cure drones.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this Kentucky judges decision is going to set a precedent? With the clarity and level of detail that the cameras on some of these machines are I would consider any and all of them an invasion of privacy.

I saw on one of the local channels last week that the Rankin SO now has an airborne drone. When they were showing pictures of it I saw no markings identifying it as a law enforcement drone. What will happen when someone shoots it down when the deputies are out "training" with it? Will the Kentucky judges decision come in to play in Mississippi?

Anonymous said...

Who is responsible when one of these remote controlled drones fail in some fashion, goes down in to a crowd and one of the 4 spinning props hurts or kills someone?

When flying remote controlled aircraft on most any R/C field the operator is required to be a member of the Academy of Model Aviation. Being a member gives the operator of the aircraft liability insurance should an accident happen. Believe me, they happen all the time due to a failure or inexperience.

Now, any yahoo can go buy one of these drones and fly it out of his backyard. There should be some regulation that requires the purchase of liability insurance when the drone is purchased. Its just a matter of time before said yahoo is in court getting the crap sued out him because he was playing with his drone, it gets away from him and it hits some child playing in his own back yard.

Anonymous said...

That is either a municipal court or equivalent of justice court. No, their decisions don't set precedent other than with the same judge being consistent or convinced to rule another way.

A drone on or above my property would be considered a trespasser by me, and I would feel free to down it by any means available.

Use A .22 Hollow-Point said...

Too many people think the use of these things is 'cute'. I see people on facebook advertising the fact that "I will be in your area next week and will be glad to get some shots of your place for you". This is the next level of danger, invasion and intrusion into the lives of regular people. Dismiss it at your own peril. The term 'privacy fence' suddenly has no meaning.

Anonymous said...

Drones actually DELAYED response to the fire that jumped the freeway outside LA, a whale back. Many people lost their cars/trucks (and almost lost their lives), BECAUSE of those drones. Planes loaded with fire retardant were forced to abandon the mission, and dump the retardant (they can't land, fully-loaded).

I think those responsible ought to do serious prison time.

Anonymous said...

20 seconds of that video were enough for me to conclude that dude is the biggest douchebag I could ever imagine.

The law on these drones is quite dynamic these days. Feds seem to be playing catch-up.

Anonymous said...

Why is the guy who can't shoot worth s**t out in his boxers? And why are these other fools watching him?

60 seconds and about 200 rounds wasted was all I could stomach.

Anonymous said...

As a 40 year veteran of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) I can tell you this: In 2012 Congress agreed that the AMA with its decades of safety experience while enjoying the "National Airspace" is under direction of the FAA. Until recently, the FAA has allowed those in the AMA to continue to fly model aircraft, all of which are deemed "Drones" under the guidelines set for by the AMA as a "Community Based Organization" (CBO), but just recently the FAA has been reeled in by its mother organization the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) and now the Director of the DOT has put his facist boot down on the modeling community with a think tank organization to mandate that ALL "drones" be REGISTERED with the FAA before the Holiday shopping season. Not only the pilots, but the aircraft themselves. Currently, anyone offering photo services for sale via a Drone on Facebook or anywhere else better have an FAA "333 Exemption" in hand to offer such commercial services.

Kingfish said...

Google "Dan Bilzerian". Google his father as well.

As for drones, the problem is this is a case where the technology has really gotten ahead of the law.... and any solutions.

Suppose some creep wants to use a drone to hover over your back yard and videotape your kids. The drone sits there for 20 minutes. What can you do?

1. Call the cops. What can they do? Does it violate a law? if they think it does, what can they do? They don't have any technology that can bring it down. They are literally helpless. They MIGHT be able to catch the operator with some luck but that will be hard to do and that depends on how fast the police can arrive on the scene.

So the police are rather limited in what they can do.

2. How do you find out who is operating the drone? Short of catching the drone operator, good luck.

3. You can do nothing. Just accept such invasions as the price of living in a modern world.

4. Shoot it down with birdshot and take your chances with the law.

I posted above said...

Spot on Kingfish. Now lets contemplate the f*ckstick that has a Non-Registered Drone where the aircraft in question has been recovered. For that matter it may have been registered but due to damage cannot be linked to a "registrant". You don't think that local LEO aren't going to go knocking on doors within a few miles of the incident with their "registration info"? Model Airplanes USED to be a fun hobby. Not so much anymore.

Anonymous said...

I googled him. 20 seconds in, my initial assessment may have been too polite.

Ground Them Legally said...

I'm disappointed in Kingfish's roll-over-and-die remarks at 5:08. "Just the price of living in a modern world" indeed. So was speeding seventy years ago until somebody developed radar intervention and triangulation. We should NOT roll over and accept intrusion into our personal lives as simply the cost of being alive.

Anonymous said...

@ 2:40

I totally agree with you ! ! !!

Kingfish said...

Ground them, in case you don't know your numbers, that was number three, one of several possible options that I offered if confronted with a hovering drone scenario. Options means several outcomes or choices.

Anonymous said...

1235 -- FYI

The AG's office answered a letter I sent him although his office didn't have to. The conclusion of the attorney that responded said it would be best for me to pursue legal action vs. a 12 gauge. Frankly, I'm more in favor of the 12 gauge.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that people are just as angry about "fascist" over regulation as they are about under regulation in these comments.

Most of the concerns expressed here are dealt with by privacy and nuisance laws which are already on the books, as well as common law negligence. In addition, there are some very stiff fines the FAA can levy if it considers an operator to be "endangering the National Airspace System." This roughly translates to: endangering people or property in the air OR on the ground. One is generally not supposed to fly a drone over the heads of people, due to the risk of it falling and injuring them. The chances of a person losing control of his drone and it crashing into people or property GREATLY INCREASES IF YOU SHOOT IT. Not to mention that the FAA classifies all drones as "aircraft" under the law and, if you shoot one, you're shooting down an aircraft. A discussion of federal preemption is beyond the scope of this comment, but don't count on some bozo muni judge's opinion helping you out if you shoot down a drone.

The best course of action is this: If you want to fly a drone, learn the rules and regulations that apply (there are many), know your equipment and use common sense. If you REASONABLY believe that a drone is endangering you or your property, or being used to harass you, call the police. The FAA is currently making a push to establish a sort of bounty system with local law enforcement, and I suspect your local police department would love to share in the $25,000 fine the FAA can collect (per incident). Most of these drones only have around a 20 minute battery life and limited range, they are loud and covered in flashing lights, and they have to land. If you follow it down, you will likely find the operator. Most of the drones people seem to be worried about are several hundred to several thousand dollars. Unless your daughter is a Kardashian, the operator is probably not going to risk losing his drone to get a picture of her (and he's probably taking a picture for a roof inspection, insurance claim or real estate listing and has no idea you're even there).

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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