Aerial Photo Company Gets Cops Called on Them After Drone Startles Naked Woman

Portland-based aerial photography company Skyris Imaging found themselves in an awkward situation earlier this week when a not-fully-clothed woman was startled by a camera drone hovering outside of her 26th-floor apartment in Seattle and, naturally, called the police.

According to KGW News Portland, Lisa Pleiss was walking around her apartment naked last Sunday, not at all expecting her privacy to be an issue on the 26th floor, when she was shocked to see a camera-toting UAV hovering above a crane about a block away from her window.

Believing she may be the victim of a high-tech peeping Tom, she called the concierge, who called the Seattle Police, who then launched an investigation into possible invasion of privacy and tried to track down the drone pilots responsible.

The media, as you might imagine, had a field day with the story of a camera drone hovering around Seattle peeping in on people’s apartments, which shocked Skyris Imaging founder Joe Vaughn. He immediately called the police, identified himself, his company, and explained that he was shooting a panoramic view for a developer and was not even pointed towards Pleiss apartment.

The police confirmed his story with the client and let him off the hook, but Vaughn took it one step further by getting in contact with Pleiss to explain the situation himself and apologize for startling her.

“We had a very nice conversation,” he tells KGW. “And we’ll be sending her a print of the photograph we ended up taking on Sunday morning.”

(via Boing Boing)

  • Bruins7784

    “The police confirmed his story with the client and let him off the hook” – There was no hook for him to be on… good story though, good on them for giving her a print :)

  • Mauricio Matos

    The problem here is that we’re hearing more and more not so good news with drones involved and that only makes authorities to think harder and harder to stop allowing the use of drones in more and more places.

  • C Jacobs

    Was she naked or not fully clothed? There’s a difference between the two. For the integrity of the story that situation needs to be clarified.

  • Mike

    She should also call the cops about any building “a block away” from her. There’s people with eyes and cameras over there.

  • pgb0517

    I say, if a gal can’t walk around nekkid on the 26th floor, where can she walk around nekkid? Yeah.

  • RegularGuy55

    This is where you need a gun that fires off a projectile tied to a reel of fishing line. No stray bullets to worry about, but watch and see what happens when the mono-filament line wraps around those propellers.

  • OtterMatt

    Good on the owner for clearing things up so completely. All drone owners should be so thoughtful.

  • TSB

    Yep, give me acces to your propery to have fun destroying it. Thank you in advance

  • mlianopr

    Stupid… reporters!! they didn’t look professional, with they gestures… my opinion…

  • mlianopr

    Good thinking…!

  • Eric__

    I’m withholding judgement until I see the goods.

  • gochugogi

    The drone was a city block away. You’ll need a really large reel…

  • Sean Lucky

    The American public’s privacy is being invaded by their own government to a much harsher degree, and this is what gets focused on? Heh…

  • vonrock

    My House.

  • D.G. Brown

    Considering that the copter was taking pictures to simulate the view from a future building, her days of wandering around her apartment in the buff are likely numbered :-P

    Although I do call into question the habit. Assuming she’s on the east side of the building (the only side without similar-height buildings within two blocks), it’s still not that far (3-4 blocks) from shorter office buildings that might be able to see (one of which is the home of Facebook in Seattle). That and window washers. When I lived in downtown Seattle, I never paid attention to their schedule and it’s quite awkward waking up in the morning looking up at one of them (and I was fully clothed).

    But all that aside, it is cool how well the PDX company handled it. Sounds like they made a friend in the end, and that helps all of us :)

  • Dover

    With photos.

  • JimmyWhite123

    I was a victim of a female peeping Tom.

  • Trevor Dennis

    But how was he going to take advantage of all that free publicity without putting his hand up? He’ll have got a few bookings just from the exposure the media gave him from this story. Well worth the price of a 10×8 print — which will have drawn out the story all the more. Yep. A very media savvy business owner. :-)

  • Larrry

    And telescopes that look for the moon on the 26th floor.

  • planetMitch

    Total non-story – this is a total fabrication of a story from nothing to be sensationalist by the TV crew. No privacy was invaded, no crimes happened, nothing was done illegally, yet it is blown into massive proportions. I don’t get it.

  • Jason Wright

    PR Done right :) This could easily have gone badly for many reasons, looks like they handled it well.
    I would love to see the picture too, any chance of an online version?

  • Jason Wright

    Certainly paranoid to just assume that a drone “a block away” had to be peeping at you!
    It’s not like you can’t find naked women on the net, there are easier ways to get off than flying a drone up to the 26th floor with a zoom lens to peep at random women a block away.

  • Jason Wright

    Obviously never heard of curtains either.

  • Jason Wright

    By your logic I will punch you in the face each time you look in my direction. Thanks for your stupid over-reaction knee jerk FUD reply.

  • Mauricio Matos

    I agree with you. My point is that it doesn’t matter if it’s paranoid or not. It’s bad publicity and that’s always a bad thing. It reminds me the news of drones harassing wildlife in the US and now they’re about to ban drones in all national parks.

  • Jason Wright

    Yup, I support his actions, even if they were “selfishly” motivated the outcome is positive for all. Woman is happy, company gets good PR and drones don’t get any more needless negativity towards them.

  • Jason Wright

    Because DRONES!!!

    It’s nothing more than an expensive RC toy but they call it a DRONE and suddenly it’s news.

    Just another example of society not being prepared for modern technology and what it brings with it. The humble camera phone is still being blamed for uses it gets put to.

  • Jason Wright

    Not sure about that one. National parks are there for nature, not for technology. If nothing else the people enjoying those parks are there for peace and quiet not buzzing drones flying around. Maybe a total ban is silly, but certainly a lot of control should be kept in these rare areas of beauty.

  • Pickle

    It’s funny that people in highrises think they can walk around naked without closing the blinds and expect others not to look. When did this become a rule? At what floor would you feel entitled to this? 3rd floor? 20th floor? Many people who live in high-rises love looking out their window with telescopes and telephoto lenses. I know this because I often visit high-rises to some very wealthy people and many have this and can easily see through hotel windows and other high-rises if they wanted to. Not to mention window cleaners.

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  • Jeremiah True

    Good on them for not railroading him and ruining his name and business.

  • Bolkey

    Actually, it is a quite well-balanced covering of that news.