Kentucky Man Arrested For Shooting Drone Hovering Above His Home And In Neighbors' Yards

| by Mackenzie Fleming

A Kentucky man was arrested after shooting down a drone flying over his home in Hillview. Police arrived at 47-year-old William H. Merideth’s house on July 26 after receiving a complaint about a firearm and charged Merideth, who had reportedly taken out the drone with a shotgun. 

Merideth told the police he had shot down the drone after his daughters complained of it flying above the house. 

According to police, the owner of the drone claimed he was flying it to get pictures of a friend’s house, but Merideth and his neighbors said it hovered above their homes and yards for some time, WDRB reported. 

Merideth explained he waited until the drone was directly over his property before he shot it out of the sky.

“I didn’t shoot across the road, I didn’t shoot across my neighbors' fences, I shot directly into the air,” he said. 

Because the drone had not only flown directly above his property, but also hovered instead of continuing to move on, he said felt like the had the right to take it out. 

The drone’s owners and police did not agree. According to Merideth, four men came to confront him about shooting down their drone. Later, police arrived and Merideth was arrested and booked into the Bullitt County Detention Center. He was charged with first-degree criminal mischief and first-degree wanton endangerment, according to Ars Technica. 

Despite the charges, Merideth said he will not apologize for his actions.

"You know, when you’re in your own property, within a 6-foot privacy fence, you have the expectation of privacy," he said. "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.”

Merideth’s neighbors who also saw the drone agreed that the device seemed violating. Neighbor Kim VanMeter’s 16-year-old daughter who lays out at their pool said a drone with a camera hovering is creepy and weird, WDRB reported.

“I just think you should have privacy in your own backyard,” she told WDRB.

Merideth was released from police custody on July 27. He said he was disappointed with how the police responded to the situation, and he plans to pursue legal action against the owners of the drone. 

Source: WDRB, Ars Technica / Photo credit: Courtesy photo via Ars Technica