First, Andrea Mears called police on a man for flying his remote control quadcopter over a public beach in Connecticut.
Then, when police didn’t respond in seconds, she attacked the man
“He’s taking pictures of people on the beach … with a helicopter plane,” she told the cops by phone.
“Can you guys hurry? I already talked to him, just come.”
Seconds later, she attacked him.
The man, who goes by Hogwit on Youtube, began recording the encounter on his iPhone as his quadcopter was flying overhead, capturing her clawing at his face and pulling at his shirt.
“You want to take pictures?” she asks him as she jams her fingers into his mouth. “Yeah, you’re going to see how it feels when police come.”
Then she has the audacity to tell him “let go of me” as she is all over him.
“If you wouldn’t be assaulting me, I wouldn’t be touching you,” he responds, remaining exceptionally calm considering the circumstances.
“He’s taking pictures of people on the beach!” she yells as she continues to rip his shirt. “I’m going to kick your ass, you little motherfucker.”
“Can someone call the cops!” the man yells. “I’m being assaulted! Help!”
Police arrived and arrested her for assault in the third degree and breach of peace. The incident took place May 12 at Hammonassett State Park in Madison.
UPDATE: Here are more details from the man who was flying the drone that he posted on a forum shortly after the incident:
I went to a nearby beach that is a whopping 2 miles long, set up, talked to some people that were curious what my “thing” was, demonstrated the loiter feature (pulling the quad to one direction or another), demonstrated rtl (flying it away then having it return), and make a lot of people think the quad was just awesome.
I never went below 50 feet save for take off/landing, then after the end of my last flight, some crazy lady came over and started taking pictures of me…and dialed 911 for the 3rd time in 15 minutes…she said something to the effect of, “There’s a guy here taking pictures at the beach with a helicopter plane.” (I distinctly remember her saying, “with a helicopter plane,” because that just sounds hilarious.) They basically said that they’d send someone when one gets free during each of the 3 calls she made, she decided they didn’t care enough about someone obeying the law so when no one was around she assaulted me and she decided to stop when she got a phone call. I called the police to report the assault, and boy was the response big…10 or more vehicles arrived (cops, DEEP, and an ambulance)…They first listened to her story of lies (she claimed I was taking close ups of people in bikinis, and that she had asked me to stop flying before calling the police, and that I was the one that assaulted her, and and and).
The police approached me very aggressively, believing her full story, and before anything else was said I brought up something that she missed… The fact that the cell phone in my hand has a camera…that was recording. I had video evidence that she went nuts completely unprovoked, and was the one that assaulted me. She was then charged with assault, and breach of peace and I gave the cops a copy of the video for their prosecution. I then also showed them my last flight where you can make out her colorful shirt getting up from the beach then following it until it lands which proved that she lied when claiming that she asked me to stop flying before calling the police.
At the end of it all, one of the officers said to me basically, “Flying that thing the way you were is fine, you’re not in any trouble. You can come back and fly, but just be aware that some people can be alarmed.”
UPDATE III: The victim in this story, Austin Haughwout, was underage at the time.
The following year in 2015, he became even more internet famous when he designed a drone with a gun attached that was able to fire bullets by remote control.
The video, posted below, got the attention of local cops who then began harassing him, beginning one night when he was sitting in his car outside of a public library using it’s wifi when a Clinton police officer confronted him.
The cop called for backup claiming he was in fear for his life over the video that had been posted a week earlier.
Haughwout, who told the cops he was using the library’s wi-fi, drove out of the parking lot since they had no grounds to detain him.
But they came after him anyway, according to the Hartford Courant.
Haughwout attempted to drive off, but stopped again after the officer turned on his car’s lights, the warrant said. The officer called for backup because Haughwout was known to have access to guns and the officer knew about the gun-firing drone video, the warrant said.
Haughwout drove out of the library parking lot onto Killingworth Turnpike when the other officer arrived, according to the warrant. After one of the officers briefly turned on the police car’s sirens, Haughwout stopped in the middle of the northbound lane, the warrant said. One of the officers parked his police car in front of Haughwout’s to keep him from driving off again, the warrant says.
Haughwout refused to put his car in park and began screaming, the warrant said. The officers told him he was being stopped for an investigative detention, and Haughwout responded: “That’s illegal. Without a crime or infraction you cannot detain a person,” the warrant said.
Responding to Haughwout’s question about why he was being detained, an officer said that Haughwout had broken the law by engaging them in a pursuit, the warrant said. Haughwout disagreed, saying he had asked if he was suspected of a crime and that he couldn’t flee if he had no reason to believe they were trying to stop him.
Police said they released him that night “out of fear that he would ram a police car.”
But they issued an arrest warrant over the “confrontation with a police officer” at the library. The article does not specify what charges but probably something like fleeing or eluding even though he only left when they allowed him to leave.
When he went to the police station to dispute the charges, he ended up pounced on by cops and hospitalized and charged with two counts of assault on a police officer.
The surveillance video, posted below, shows the cops grabbing him, then pouncing on him before they take him off camera for several minutes. Three cops then drag him away from the area.
They later claimed he was purposely hitting his head on the floor but he said they were the ones bashing his head into the floor.
He said he vomited and passed out, waking up in the hospital 45 minutes later stripped naked.
After police researched the law and discovered there was nothing illegal about attaching a gun to a drone and firing it for a YouTube video, they came after him on child porn charges over a video of a 14-year-old girl twerking sent to him when he was 18.
In 2018, prosecutors offered Haughwout a plea deal where he would receive a three-year suspended sentence and three years of probation on various charges, including assault on the cops.
He rejected the plea deal for a jury trial but earlier this year, a jury convicted him on two counts of assault on a police officer. Evidently, they did not watch the video below. The physical confrontation begins after the 3:10 mark.
He was sentenced to seven years in prison, which will be suspended after he serves one year.