Man Arrested for Shooting Down His Neighbor’s Drone

A man in a blue shirt takes aim and shoots a shotgun at a drone, causing it to explode mid-air. Another drone flies nearby in the clear, blue sky above a grassy, open field with scattered bushes in the background.
AI-generated image. | DALL-E

A 60-year-old man in upstate New York has been arrested for shooting down his neighbor’s drone with a shotgun.

The details of the case are scarce and it’s not clear why the drone was in the air other than it was apparently over the man’s property.

It happened on June 19 and New York State Police arrested Joseph H. Dishaw for menacing in the second-degree and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

A press release put out by New York State Police says that at approximately 6:06 p.m., troopers responded to Haggert Road for a report of a drone being shot down.

“An investigation determined Dishaw became angry when his neighbor started flying a drone over his property. Dishaw used a shotgun to shoot down the drone in the direction of the victim in a threatening manner.”

Dishaw was arrested at the scene and transported to the Superintendent of Police for processing. He was later arraigned in a town court where he was released on his own recognizance.

Drone DJ notes the regulations for flying a drone over private property vary from state to state but under federal law it is illegal to shoot down a drone even if it is trespassing. There are obvious risks in shooting a drone from the sky as falling debris could hurt someone.

Drone DJ also adds that the best way of dealing with a pesky drone is to not shoot it out of the sky with a shotgun. Instead, an errant drone should be reported to the local Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight standards district office. FAA investigators will look into the report and contact the drone operator. Unauthorized drone operators may be subject to penalties and criminal charges.

Drones and Private Property

It is self-evident that residents will get annoyed by drones flying over their property. One homeowner in the San Francisco Bay Area had his insurance canceled based on photos taken by a drone over his property.

While one drone photographer says he was hired by a township to spy on a man’s property after the local authority accused him of operating an illegal junkyard and violating residential zoning laws.