Law Shield wants to advise our members that a grand jury in New Jersey indicted a man on two felony charges after he was accused of shooting down a drone near his house with a shotgun.
According to The Smoking Gun, Russell Percenti, a resident of Cape May County, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief and possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose. He’s accused of shooting Leonard Helbig’s $1,300 drone with a shotgun as it hovered near his residence. His shotgun was also seized by the police.
With permission, Helbig was using his drone to take pictures of a friend’s property that is under construction. That property is adjacent to the Percenti residence.
Percenti claims he was protecting his privacy when he shot down the drone that he believed was harassing his family in their backyard pool.
Percenti faces serious time if he’s convicted: possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose carries a maximum of ten years in prison. The maximum for criminal mischief is 18 months.
Takeaway: The law across the country is evolving on drone use, but unless the drone is armed and harassing you or someone else in a threatening manner, it may be hard to justify that you needed to use deadly force to stop it. We’ll update you as we hear more.