Drone Flying Over Beach Ends In Beating and Arrest
It was a beautiful sight of scenic shots, as a drone flew over the magnificent Connecticut coastline. So, how did something so breathtaking lead to a beat down?
Seventeen-year-old Austin Howit says he was flying his drone over Hammonasset Beach in Connecticut with a GoPro camera attached. He said he was just interested in capturing scenic video.
He told INSIDE EDITION, “I wasn't expecting any attack at all.”
But the presence of the drone infuriated 23-year-old Andrea Mears, who was sunbathing on the beach.
She told INSIDE EDITION, “ I think he was doing personal surveillance which could have been perverted. I was scared that there was somebody filming me on the beach.”
Watch the Intense Altercation Between Howit and Mears
Andrea followed the drone when it landed and confronted the guy working the controls. But before authorities could arrive, things got really nasty.
He said, “She took her left hand, swung it around and hit me on my face, at which point I began falling to the ground and then I was down on the ground here, where she was punching me and slapping me."
She claims Austin hit her first. In the video, it can be seen that she was ripping apart his shirt, then stuck her fingers into his mouth and took a swing at him.
"He had me by a leg lock, I just wanted to get away. I was doing anything I could so that he would not over power me,” she said.
After reviewing the cell phone video, it was not Austin who was arrested. It was Andrea. The charge was assault in the 3rd degree. Austin was identified in the police report as the victim who acted in self-defense. It turns out flying a drone on a beach with a camera is perfectly legal in Connecticut.
But just because it's legal doesn't mean its safe. In inexperienced hands, drones can go out of control in a flash.
Video of a drone at a running of the bulls event in Virginia suddenly plummeted into the stands.
A photographer was using a drone to get great shots of a wedding when it crashed into his clients.
Now, serious privacy concerns are also being raised. If convicted of assault, Andrea could face more than a year behind bars.