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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Kentucky man is facing charges after he shot down a drone that was flying over his property.
However, he says he is not apologizing.
“Sunday afternoon, the kids – my girls- were out on the back deck, and the neighbors were out in their yard,” said William Merideth. “And they come in and said, ‘Dad, there’s a drone out here, flying over everybody’s yard.”
“It was just hovering above our house and it stayed for a few moments and then she finally waved and it took off,” said Kim VanMeter, Merideth’s neighbor.
VanMeter has a 16-year-old daughter who likes to lay out by the pool.
She says she became concerned when the drone with a camera started flying above her family.
Merideth said he had to go see for himself.
“Well, I came out and it was down by the neighbor’s house, about 10 feet off the ground, looking under their canopy that they’ve got in their back yard,” Merideth said. “I went and got my shotgun and I said, ‘I’m not going to do anything unless it’s directly over my property.”
He says it didn’t take long for the drone to cross the property line.
“Within a minute or so, here it comes,” he said. “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.”
“He didn’t just fly over. If he had been moving and just kept moving, that would have been one thing, but when he come directly over our heads, and just hovered there, I felt like I had the right,” he added.
He says that is when the drone’s owners appeared.
“Four guys came over to confront me about it and I happened to be armed, so that changed their minds,” he said. “They asked me, ‘Are you the SOB that shot my drone?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I am.’ I had my 40 mm Glock on me and they started toward me and I told them, ‘If you cross my sidewalk, there’s gonna be another shooting.”
A short time later, the police arrived.
Officers say they were called to the home after someone complained about a firearm.
Merideth says he has an open carry permit, but was arrested for wanton endangerment and criminal mischief.
Authorities say there is a city ordinance that bans the use of firearms within city limits.
However, Merideth says he would do the same thing again and plans to pursue legal action against the owners of the drone.
“We don’t know if he was looking at the girls. We don’t know if he was looking for something to steal. To me, it was the same as trespassing,” he said.
The drone’s owners claimed they were getting pictures of a friend’s house.
“We even went higher, nor did we hover over their house to look in. And for sure didn’t descend down to no 10 feet, or look under someone’s canopy, or at somebody’s daughter,” said David Boggs, the owner of the drone.
Boggs says the drone was 272 feet in the air when it was shot down.