Woman Violently Attacks Photographer on Beach for Using a Quadcopter

Editor’s Note: This video contains strong language that is not suitable for viewing at work.

We’ve seen our fair share of photographers being harassed by people who would rather they not be taking pictures in a public space. Be it a cop or an angry citizen, the worst it typically gets is the photographer being forced (illegally) to delete the photos he or she has taken.

This particular run in, however, goes far, far beyond that as the upset citizen begins violently assaulting the photographer.

According to Photography Is Not A Crime, the incident took place last month at Hammonasset Beach in Madison, CT between the unnamed photographer and a woman by the name of Andrea Mears. As you can see from the video, Mears, 23, approaches the photographer because she is upset that he is using a “helicopter plane” to take pictures, and when he refused to stop, she promptly calls 911 (three times according to a forum post by the photographer).

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That is all good and well. If the story ended there the police might show up and, if they understand the laws regarding photography in public spaces, explain to Ms. Mears why he is well within his rights. But it doesn’t stop there.

Seconds after she hangs up the phone with the police, she begins to violently, physically assault the photographer. She rips his shirt and hits him repeatedly, all the while cursing at him as she ‘teaches him a lesson’ for flying his UAV at the beach.

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Which brings us to the final, perhaps most troubling part of the story. Fortunately the unnamed photographer had the presence of mind to begin secretly recording the altercation when he saw how aggressive Mears was being, because, according to the video, when the police arrived, she tried to tell them he had assaulted her.

The video evidence cleared his name and kept him from having heinous charges pressed against him. As you can see, it’s obvious who was doing the assaulting.

So obvious, in fact, that once police saw it they arrested Mears, charging her with assault in the third degree and breach of peace in the second degree. She’s scheduled to appear in court on the 19th of this month.


The video, which was uploaded to YouTube by the assaulted photographer, has been taken down, as have all of the mirrors of it that we could find. According to the message that you find if you try to visit the links now, they’ve been removed because the content is “designed to harass, bully or threaten.”

Fortunately the footage is still live on LiveLeak, where it won’t be getting removed anytime soon, so you can still see the whole, troubling incident for yourself at the top of this post.

(via Photography Is Not A Crime via LiveLeak)

Thanks for sending in the tip, Lloyd!

  • Kitsu

    Uh… No. She physically assaulted a man and very well could have done permanent damage to him or his equipment.

  • Uniblab

    Which is more offensive to you: violently attacking someone and falsely accusing them of assault? Or making that person’s crimes public?

  • battlepriest

    While the female here was clearly a douchebag, flying a drone over a place where there are people who could be hurt if it crashed is dangerous and should be forbidden.

  • Chang He

    Exactly. It’s part of the fictitious “rape culture” we’re supposed to believe in.

  • battlepriest

    There is just as much abuse of males by females as the other way around. Women get off easy in our culture.

  • battlepriest

    The beach is not a place where one would normally expect privacy. If you don’t want pictures taken that have you in them, stay off the public beach.

  • battlepriest

    Fine with me.

  • battlepriest

    The problem with drones is not whether they are taking photos. The problem with drones is that they can cause injury and death when they crash into people. They should not be allowed to fly over places where there are people below.

  • battlepriest

    I would have kicked her ass.

  • Jack B. Siegel

    If I were the photographer, I would file a private lawsuit agains the woman, assuming that things are as they appear to be in the video.

    As for creepy, I don’t know what the photographer was trying to capture. I would not describe Massimo Vitali’s work as creepy, nor would I call Wegee’s Coney Island work creepy. Countless photographer’s have made legitimate images on beaches. Upskirting and the like are an entirely different story, however.

  • arachnophilia

    though, to be fair, if you were flying three feet above someone’s head, i could understand them being pissed about it.

  • john

    The biggest creeper in the world would be google then…their satellite is probably taking pictures of you right now if you’re on a beach. Maybe we should go to San Fran and punch google in the face.

  • Lucas Saugen

    I actually would have been upset as well if this drone flew over me. Not because he was taking my photo but because these quadcopters can be very dangerous. Even the Phantom with it’s GPS lock if not setup correctly can fly wildly out of control and smash into the thing; AKA me. It’s only a matter of time until some innocent by stander gets seriously hurt.

    To be clear. I am not excusing this woman’s actions at all. She should be charged with assault.

  • OtterMatt

    Yeah, I think the same thing about windsurfers. Who cares that they’re way, WAY over my head and I could probably avoid them easily if something went wrong, they’re jackasses.

    Seriously, though, I do think there needs to be some actual legislation on how and where quadcopters and drones can be used, but the beach is absolutely not the place for that kind of ban. If you don’t wanna deal with it, don’t go. The public still belongs to everyone else, too.

  • byoung328

    Being publicly shamed for acting like an ass is an old and tested way of preventing such behavior. If you don’t want to look like an ass on the Internet the solution is simple…. don’t act like one

  • OtterMatt

    Okay, if someone flies a quadcopter into your home, vehicle, or the changing room that you’re using, then you have the right to throw a fit. Outside of that, the courts have not ever reasoned by trial law that you have any expectation of privacy in public space, and you shouldn’t. This isn’t a nanny state, even as much as it tries to be. If you’re offended, your two legal choices are to stay home or grow up.

  • OtterMatt

    Ah, the Facebook generation wants all of their embarrassing memories back from the rest of the world. Tough. If you don’t want to look like an ass, don’t act like an ass. I thought Pinocchio made that lesson pretty clear.

  • Kaouthia

    Indeed. :)

  • Basil Malik

    a perfect example of why the jury pool is so messed up. Can you imagine this woman in the jury and/or others that think (not) like her.

  • Lucas Saugen

    “The public still belongs to everyone else”?

    You’re kidding right? This is what laws do. They limit the rights of some for the good of the public. If you want to fly your drone at the beach just go to a beach with little of no people. Why go to a crowded beach?

    Also, considering your windsurfer analogy. Windsurfers can only surf in a particular area. I can simply move or not go there to avoid them. A drone can go anywhere and follow as well. There’s literally no where to go to avoid them.

  • Roger

    She’s lucky he reacted as calmly as he did, most people would have decked her within seconds! She’s probably some kind of mad feminist as well, complain about how guys assault women all the time, yet thinks that’s ok. I hope he sues…

  • Kaouthia

    Crossing the road where there are people who could be hurt if a motorist’s brakes fail is dangerous, therefore driving cars on roads should be forbidden!

    If we based everything in our lives on a worst case scenario, we’d all commit suicide.

  • Kaouthia

    “It’s only a matter of time until some innocent by stander gets seriously hurt.”

    Innocent bystanders get hit by cars every day. They haven’t banned those yet.

  • Lucas Saugen

    I’m not asking to ban them. I’m asking to limit where they can fly. You can’t drive your car on the beach or through a park.

  • john

    I was hit by a frisbees once…it hurt a lot…Maybe they should restrict frisbees to somewhere not in the public too…

  • Kaouthia

    You’re asking them to be banned from places where innocent bystanders may get seriously hurt.

    Or are you suggesting that innocent bystanders are safe where cars are allowed to be? :)

  • Basil Malik

    You do understand how difficult it is to reason with someone who has already predetermined your actions. Maybe not. Furthermore this is america.. I dont have to plan my photography day based on the inclinations of others.. I dont like small pieces of cloth on robust bodies at the beach but I cant berate, harass or call the cops because of it. Courtesy is one thing but your brand of passivity is sickening.

  • joshuabardwell

    What were his intentions? To take beautiful pictures/video of the ocean. For fuck’s sake.

  • petra_panther

    yeah yeah. the americans are experts in internet pillorys. sorry, but thats so 10th century.

  • petra_panther

    yeah yeah. luckily some people introduced privacy laws. and guess what: they are for everybody. also for offenders in some kind of way.

  • Lucas Saugen

    I never suggested that you are 100% safe anywhere. I’m suggesting that a crowded area in not a place to hover a drone considering you’ve only got about 2 hours of flying time on the thing.

  • john

    Where is the last part of the video? I want to see how well of a liar she is…

  • john

    people play football, volleyball, frisbee, fly kites, etc in crowd public places (beach) all the time. Those can all hurt someone in some way.

  • Jack B. Siegel

    If I were the photographer and the facts are as described, I would file a lawsuit against the woman for assault and battery, as well as for false statements to the authorities. In other words, tort.

    As for photographing on a beach, it is no more creepy than photographing at any other location. Upskirting and photography for sexual gratification is creepy, period. On the other hand, I don’t find Massimo Vitali’s photographs creepy, nor do I find Wegee’s Coney Island series to be creepy. Plenty of other photographers have worked the beach with great success. Personally, I prefer the winter beach, when it is below zero and there is lots of ice. Generally you don’t see folks scantily clad.

    But once again, this thread demonstrates the conflation of what is legal and what is ethical. There is a difference.

  • PazinBoise

    My thoughts exactly, when people like Andrea falsely play the “victim” all they do is set back those who have been the victim of assault and potentially threaten the legitimacy of those who will be.

  • Ryan Barnett

    You definitely don’t have a drone for you would know the type of pictures coming the camera esp with a gopro. You can’t “use” anything from a perv perspective.

  • Jay

    And every other object on the face of the planet can cause injury of some kind. Blah blah, bad drivers, old drivers plowing through a crowd of people. Enough BS about what COULD happen.

  • Rob S

    I hope she get jail time. I hope he fils a civil suit agains her. i hope she get fired from her job or expelled from school. Besides being a bully and an idiot, she is a LIAR and had he not made the video he would be in jail and ANOTHER lying woman would get away with assault. So tired of this.

  • Rob S

    Right because he was a creep. Its people like you who make it hard on ALL photographers.

  • Rob S

    Wait what? SHE was the one who LIED. She was the one who got violent. If she really thought she was on the right side of the law, why did she LIE? Nasty photographers? How about nasty people?

  • Rob S

    Um, actually you justified violence “He got what he bargained for.”

  • James de Luna

    best comment .. totally agree

  • Jay

    You have no right to privacy in a public place. End of story. This is not up for discussion. I am sure there are guys who take photos, and wank to them later. Some people are f’ed up, but don’t lump every person with a camera into that category. How many security cameras are there, recording people every day. How many pervs are monitoring those cameras?
    Someone like her is going to regret their decisions one day when they swing at the wrong person. As it stands, she needs to spend time in a small concrete box with steel bars for windows. Not to mention have a permanent record. Anyone who willfully attacks another person, needs to have this follow them through life.

  • Rob S

    Don’t commit crimes in public and your crimes won’t be public. Or do you thing society should never know that your neighbor is violent?

  • Lucas Saugen

    Hurt and seriously hurt are two different things. If a frisbee had four motorized spinning blades and weighed 3 lbs I’d be very concerned with a frisbee as well.

  • Rob S

    Public. Key word. Since you don’t seem to comprehend:

    pub┬Ělic [puhb-lik]

    1. of, pertaining to, or affecting a population or a community as a whole: public funds; a public nuisance.

    2. done, made, acting, etc., for the community as a whole: public prosecution.

    3. open to all persons: a public meeting.

    4. of, pertaining to, or being in the service of a community or nation, especially as a government officer: a public official.

    5. maintained at the public expense and under public control: a public library; a public road.

    If you want PRIVACY do things in PRIVATE.

    God you are dense.

  • MEEfO

    Absolutely. This. I shot beaches frequently when I lived on Cape Cod and at Coney Island in NY. Almost always wide, often silhouettes. It was all about color and the contrasting textures. Occasionally activity. I’ve been confronted by several beach-goers, typically women, leveling the same accusations. I always tried to be cognizant not to shoot in the direction of any kids–for that is a concern I am more sensitive to.

  • Leonardo Abreu

    This woman: Dumbass

  • Uniblab

    I’m hoping your comment was actually addressed to petra_panther, as mine was.

  • Kristian Colasacco

    I live in Florida and this is my real name so it should be easy for you to come find me if you’d ever like to talk to me like that face to face. If not, go away coward. Oh, and it’s “you’re”. You’re a complete jackass. Dumbass.