A Kentucky man who shot a drone out of the sky last July as it hovered over his sunbathing daughter was arrested and charged with first-degree endangerment, firing a gun in a residential neighborhood, and criminal mischief.
The judge in the case, however, found that William H. Merideth had done nothing wrong, and has dismissed all charges.
The case against a Kentucky man who was arrested after shooting down his neighbor’s drone was dismissed on Monday.
William H. Merideth was cleared of first-degree endangerment and criminal mischief charges Monday when a judge ruled he had the right to shoot down David Boggs’ drone.
“I think it’s credible testimony that his drone was hovering from anywhere, for two or three times over these people’s property, that it was an invasion of their privacy and that they had the right to shoot this drone,” Bullitt County Judge Rebecca Ward said, according to NBC affiliate WAVE.
Merideth was arrested in July and admitted to shooting down the drone. He told NBC News at the time that the device was flying near his yard and he “had no way of knowing (if) it was a predator looking at my children.”
“I feel good. I feel vindicated,” Merideth said Monday. “I was being watched. It was an invasion of privacy and I just, I wouldn’t have put up with it no more,” he told the station.
Merideth, who nicknamed himself “Drone Slayer” after downing the $2,500 remote-controlled aircraft, isn’t out of the woods yet, however. David Boggs, the owner of the drone, plans to appeal the charges to a grand jury.
As drones become more popular—and are used to invade the privacy of more people—we can probably expect to see more cases similar to this one. It is unlikely that all judges will be as forgiving as Judge Ward, however, and I’d strongly suggest against being the local test case in your community.