The Arizona National Guard has suspended the crew of a Black Hawk helicopter while it investigates claims that they used the military’s equipment to fly over a Halloween party and drop candy to the attendees.
Residents of the Phoenix neighborhood said the presence of the low-flying military helicopter startled them.
“At first I thought it was the lawnmowers from the guys that usually cut our grass, but then it wasn't... saw a military helicopter there, nose down... I didn't think it was weird, it was military, green and big, and it had it's red lights flashing,” resident Marco Innocenti told KSAZ News.
Other neighbors said they believed there was a party going on where the helicopter came to a hover for a few moments. And others said they had no idea what was going on, but thought they saw small packages being dropped from the Black Hawk.
"Somebody said that helicopter dropped some packages and go, oh my god, now what is this, some cartel? What is this,” one neighbor said in a separate KSAZ report.
“I didn't know if it was going to be a crash, or an attack, no clue,” said another.
Representatives from the Arizona National Guard confirmed the next day that the Black Hawk belonged to them and had taken off from nearby Papago Park Military Reservation. It was traveling to Deer Valley Training Area when it made the unsanctioned detour, according to KTVK News.
The crew reportedly did drop candy to partygoers at a house in the neighborhood.
A statement from Army Brig. Gen. William Hall said the matter is being investigated and confirmed that the crew has been suspended.
“The incident was not sanctioned by the Arizona National Guard and will be investigated further to ensure it does not occur again,” the statement read, according to The Arizona Republic. “The Arizona National Guard does not authorize nor condone the use of military aircraft or equipment for personal use.”
The names of the crew members will not be released until the investigation is completed, the statement said.