A disturbing incident unfolded in Rhode Island, as police bodycam footage unveiled the confrontation between law enforcement and a convicted sex offender allegedly using a drone for voyeuristic activities.
Christopher Jones, the offender in question, is accused of operating a drone to peer into his neighbor's home, an act that subsequently led to his arrest.
It all started when Stephanie Merola, Jones' neighbor, noticed an unusual buzzing sound coming from her open window.
The Cranston Police Department traced the drone back to Jones, who admitted to his illicit actions in the bodycam video.
“I was contacted by the family last night at 10:30. It's basically an invasion of privacy. I'm very ashamed about this. I'm very embarrassed, but I had a drone and actually flew it in the neighbors' yard,” Jones confessed.
Following this revelation, he was charged with one felony count of video voyeurism. Interestingly, Jones has a previous criminal record. The department's Special Victims Unit reported that Jones was convicted in 1999 for intent to commit a first-degree sexual assault.
He completed his obligation to register as a sex offender in 2015. Despite this, Jones insisted his past indiscretion was long behind him, stating, “My prior incident — that's all done. It's almost 25 years ago.”
Even with this history, Jones attempted to avoid further disgrace by calling in sick to work, anticipating the police's arrival. Jones expressed concern when officers suggested he come to the station to sort things out before formal charges were pressed.
“My only fear is that I go down there and I speak to the detective not with Legal representation and then I end up staying there,” he said.
Nonetheless, Jones was arrested soon after and is due in Kent County Court on July 6. This case serves as a stark reminder of the potential misuse of drones and the privacy concerns associated with their unregulated use.
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