Charges have been dropped for man arrested for shooting down a drone over his property and hovering over his teenage daughter – who was sunbathing around their pool.
47-year-old William H. Merideth – the father – didn’t appreciate the Peeping Tom device and promptly shot it out of the sky. And he’s not apologizing for any of it:
Hillview Police say they were called to the home of 47-year-old William H. Merideth after someone complained about a firearm.
When they arrived, police say Merideth told them he had shot down a drone that was flying over his house. The drone was hit in mid-air and crashed in a field near Merideth’s home.
Police say the owner of the drone claimed he was flying it to get pictures of a friend’s house — and that the cost of the drone was over $1,800.
Merideth was arrested and charged with first degree criminal mischief and first degree wanton endangerment. He was booked into the Bullitt County Detention Center, and released on Monday.
WDRB News spoke with Merideth Tuesday afternoon, and he gave his side of the story.
“Sunday afternoon, the kids – my girls – were out on the back deck, and the neighbors were out in their yard,” Merideth said. “And they come in and said, ‘Dad, there’s a drone out here, flying over everybody’s yard.'”
Merideth’s neighbors saw it too.
“It was just hovering above our house and it stayed for a few moments and then she finally waved and it took off,” said neighbor Kim VanMeter.
VanMeter has a 16-year-old daughter who lays out at their pool. She says a drone hovering with a camera is creepy and weird.
“I just think you should have privacy in your own backyard,” she said.
Merideth agrees and 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.’”
That moment soon arrived, he said.
“Within a minute or so, here it came,” 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 added.
It wasn’t long before the drone’s owners appeared.
“Four guys came over to confront me about it, and I happened to be armed…
UPDATE: The case against William was dismissed.
Merideth said he’s offering no apologies for what he did.
“He didn’t just fly over,” he said. “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.”
“You know, when you’re in your own property, within a six-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.”