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Judge dismisses charges against man who shot down spying drone

Hillview, Ky., resident William Merideth was arrested earlier this year after taking a shot at a drone that he said had been buzzing homes in the neighborhood. Though he was arrested and faced charges of wanton endangerment and criminal mischief, Merideth remained resolute in his right to protect his privacy.

Several neighbors agreed, including one woman worried about allowing her teenage daughter to sunbathe in the yard. Kim VanMeter said she saw the drone hovering over her property, adding:

I think you should have privacy in your own yard.

Merideth refused to apologize, insisting that he acted appropriately:

I didn’t shoot across the road. I didn’t shoot across my neighbor’s fences. I shot directly into the air.

At that point, Merideth said the drone’s owners confronted him.

Ultimately, authorities got involved and the homeowner was taken into custody. He maintained that the operators of the drone were the real villains of this story:

We’re not going to let it go. I believe there are rules that need to be put into place and the situation needs to be addressed; because everyone I’ve spoken to, including police, have said that they would have done the same thing.

Bullett County District Judge Rebecca Ward agreed, explaining that witness testimony indicated that the drone was flying below the tree line in Merideth’s neighborhood:

He had a right to shoot at this drone, and I’m going to dismiss this charge.

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