Man Arrested for Shooting Down Neighbor’s Drone in Upstate NY

60-Year-Old Faces Charges of Menacing and Weapon Possession

On June 19, 2024, Joseph H. Dishaw, a 60-year-old man from Ogdensburg, NY, was arrested by State for menacing in the 2nd degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the 4th degree. The arrest stemmed from an incident that occurred on June 18, 2024, at approximately 6:06 p.m., when Troopers responded to a report of a drone being shot down on Haggert Road in the town of Oswegatchie. The took place in Congresswoman Stefanik's district.

Neighbor's Drone Shot Down with Shotgun

According to the reports, Dishaw allegedly became angry when his neighbor started flying a drone over his property. He then used a shotgun to shoot down the drone in the direction of the victim in a threatening manner. Dishaw was subsequently arrested, processed by State Police, and arraigned in the Town of Morristown Court, where he was released on his own recognizance.

Illegal to Shoot Down Drones in Most Cases

The incident highlights the potential consequences of shooting down drones, even if they are flying over one's property. Drones are considered aircraft by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and shooting at or damaging any aircraft is a federal crime. Additionally, shooting a gun at a drone could be considered reckless endangerment, as the bullet could strike unintended targets and cause serious injury. Destroying someone else's drone is also considered property damage, and the drone's owner could sue for compensation.

Proper Channels for Reporting Illegal Drone Activity

If a drone is being flown illegally, the proper course of action is to report it to authorities, not take matters into your own hands. In City, for example, drone pilots must obtain permits from the NYPD to legally take off and land. As of July 2023, NYC allows drone flight with proper permits in designated areas, in an effort to enable beneficial drone uses while maintaining public safety. Shooting at permitted drones would interfere with legal and potentially valuable operations.

DroneXL's Take

This incident serves as a reminder that while drones may sometimes be annoying or raise privacy concerns, taking illegal action against them ultimately creates more problems than it solves. As continues to advance and become more prevalent in our lives, it is crucial that we handle any issues through proper legal channels and allow authorities to enforce existing regulations. By working together to balance the benefits of drones with public safety concerns, we can create a future where this innovative technology is used responsibly and to its fullest potential.


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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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