Yesterday we ran a story about a Kentucky father who shot down a drone with his shotgun after his daughter came inside and claimed it had been watching her sunbathe in their yard. Today we got an update that the father has since been released from jail and his case dismissed by the judge on grounds that he was within his rights to take the drone down as it was invading his privacy.
H/T American Now
Case Dismissed Against Father Who Shot Down Drone
The case against a Kentucky father who shot down a drone to protect his daughter has been dismissed.
“My daughter comes in and says, ‘Dad, there’s a drone out here flying,'” William H. Merideth recalled.
Merideth quickly grabbed his gun and ran outside. He fired at the drone, taking it down in one shot. The drone landed in a nearby field.
“I went and got my shotgun and I said, ‘I’m not going to do anything unless it’s directly over my property,'” Merideth said. “Within a minute or so, here it came. It was hovering over top of my property, and I shot it out of the sky. I didn’t shoot across the road, I didn’t shoot across my neighbor’s fences, I shot directly into the air.”
Merideth shot down the drone because he thought that the owner, David Boggs, was using it to spy on his daughter while she sunbathed, but the owner says that was not the case. Boggs subsequently pressed charges against Merideth for property damage. Boggs says he was simply taking photos of another house in the neighborhood.
Merideth was arrested for the incident and admitted to shooting the drone. He told NBC News that he “had no way of knowing (if) it was a predator looking at my children.”
In court, the case against Merideth was thrown out and he was cleared of charges for first-degree endangerment and criminal mischief.
“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 in court.
Merideth says he is relieved to have been cleared of the charges.
“I feel good,” he told WAVE. “I feel vindicated. I was being watched. It was an invasion of privacy and I just, I wouldn’t have put up with it no more.”
Boggs told NBC News that he was not doing anything malicious with his $2,500 drone when flying it that day.
“I don’t think that the court looked at what really took place here,” Boggs said. “I’m dumbfounded. I really am.”
Boggs says that he plans to appeal the case in front of a grand jury.
“This is a victory for him today, I guess. But it’s far from over,” Boggs said.