shotgun phantom

“They were screaming, ‘Get that fucking drone off our property,'” he said. “I told them, ‘It’s not on your property, it never was. I’m calling the police. I’m calling them right now.'”

Russell Percenti was charged with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and criminal mischief last week after blasting a camera drone/quadcopter/DJI Phantom out of the sky with a shotgun.

The anonymous pilot was taking aerial video of a friend’s house as a favor when he heard gunshots and realized someone was shooting at his Phantom.

“I heard a shotgun shot, but it didn’t register that they were shooting at me,” the pilot told Vice’s Jason Koebler. “Then, as I’m starting to move, I hear ‘boom, boom, boom,’ three shots really close together. I think, ‘I’m getting shot at, the drone is getting shot at.'”

Percenti was apparently outraged that someone was recording his property, but the quadcopter never even flew over his property.

“They don’t understand that if you want to spy, you’d have to basically put it up against a window,” said the pilot. PINAC has obtained copies of the arrest report thanks to a reader-made open records request. The records are available below.

After discharging the shotgun dangerously close to the Phantom pilot and his daughter, Percenti was arrested and subsequently released on $2500 bail.

Arrest Report 1  Arrest Report 2 Open Records Request


To help support PINAC and the Open Records Project, donate here. Special thanks to Michael Blitch.

For news tips on aerial photography and drones, contact Andrew Meyer, PINAC’s staff writer covering UAV photography, the First Amendment, and more. Follow him on twitter @theandrewmeyer.