Publish date: 20151119
Author: Kevin Baird
Man whose drone got too close to LAPD helicopter given three years’ probation During that period, man will be banned from even owning a drone.
LA MAN ARRESTED FOR ALLEGEDLY FLYING DRONE TOO CLOSE TO POLICE HELICOPTER Drone forced police helicopter to "take evasive action." A Los Angeles man has pleaded no contest to interfering with a police investigation after he flew his drone too close to a police helicopter.
Martin Sheldon was sentenced Wednesday to three years of probation and 30 days of community service. Sheldon must also give up his seized drone. Further, he’s banned from owning or operating any drone during his probation, including specifically "a remote-controlled airplane, helicopter, or drone for the duration of his probation."
On August 27, Sheldon was found operating his drone from a parking lot along Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood as the helicopter was orbiting above a crime scene below.
According to the City Attorney, officers on the ground were involved in a search for a suspect with a deadly weapon. Because the drone flew too close to the helicopter, the aircraft had to "make an evasive move" and "break off its search for the suspect on the ground."
"Interfering with a police investigation through the careless operation of a drone places our officers and the public at serious risk," City Attorney Mike Feuer said in a statement. "This conviction sends a strong message that we will hold those who recklessly operate these devices accountable for their actions."