A man who was arrested for flying his gadget outside an upstate New York hospital has opened up about the ordeal.
David Beesmer was ultimately found not guilty in a drone surveillance trial.
When patients spotted his drone, they feared they were being spied on by a high-tech Peeping Tom. Police were called and Beesmer was charged with unlawful surveillance in the second degree.
“I am definitely not a Peeping Tom,” he told INSIDE EDITION.
Beesmer, who is a professional photographer and drone enthusiast, said he did nothing wrong. He said he had driven his mother to Mid Hudson Medical Group Hospital in upstate New York for a doctor's appointment.
“I took out my drone and figured I’d get some shots for promotional material,” he told INSIDE EDITION.
Beesmer was observed flying his drone outside the fourth-floor windows and recorded a video.
“I landed the drone, walked inside, introduced myself and told them who I am. That's certainly not the actions of someone who committed a crime,” he said.
He told a police officer he was not guilty of any crime. “I truly, truly, truly, did not do this. Oh my God,” he said.
His laywer, Eric Schneider, told IE: “It was a nightmare.”
Schneider argued that his client was in plain sight and the camera on the drone didn't have a zoom, so it was not capable of taking video through the hospital's heavily tinted windows.
Beesmer tried to explain that to the cops. “There's no way that you could see through windows at the distance that I was,” he said.
But the case went to trial.
“My biggest fear was that the jury was going to make their decision based on emotion and the fear of drones, and not the letter of the law,” he said.
A jury found him not guilty.
“This is the first prosecution in United States history for a person using a drone and accused of unlawful surveillance,” said the lawyer.
Beesmer said he still intends to fly his drone, but has this advice for fellow drone operators: “Think before you lift off.”
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