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Neighbor threatened to kill me for flying my phantom...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by joshuaeric, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. joshuaeric

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    I am currently in the process of filing a restraining order and the city is pursuing a felony/misdemeanor against one of my neighbors that I have never met before, before they approached me, brandished a weapon, and threatened to kill me for flying my phantom too close to their house. You would think I live in a dangerous neighborhood, but it is quite the opposite in one of the most expensive zip codes (socal).

    I am posting this here as a warning. When the incident happened, I was with a few friends. Had I been alone, who knows what could have transpired.

    I am not advocating carrying weapons, but I would suggest that you think about protecting yourself every time you fly.

    I hesitated in posting this because I didn't want to worry anyone, but I convinced myself that I would want to know, so I am sharing.

    Here are a few details of the incident for those that are curious:

    Taking off from directly in front of my condo. It is a crowded neighborhood, housing with hardly any yards, in a small-hills area. I am flying looking at brush and open land, some of the only open land near my condo, at about the middle of a hill, on top of which is a house. I am at approximately 60-80 feet in the air (AGL), much lower than the height of the house. I then start to go straight up at about 3-5mph to a height of about 300 feet. During this I pass by the house on the hill at about 30-50 yards from the closest side of the house (the house was at about 100-120ft). Once at that height, I hit the RTH function to show my friends how it can, well, RTH. As it gets above us and starts to descend, a pickup truck pulls up with a man and a woman getting out. They start approaching us spouting nonsense about taking video through their windows. Privacy this, illegal that, "you cannot fly over residential!", etc. After a few minutes of back and forth, they say they are going to call the police. I invited them to and welcomed them to stay and wait. This was mostly a discussion with the wife. They were an older couple, late 50's early 60's. While this was happening the husband had pulled out a steak knife and had it in his hands. He was a safe distance away at this point, but it was borderline time to run in the other direction. Shortly later, they started walking back to their truck and the husband pulled the truck closer to my condo attempting to run over the drone with his car. He aggressively sped up and nearly ran over my girlfriend who picked up the drone because she saw what he was going to be doing. He then veered at her, and she had to duck between cars. I was too far away to do anything about the drone sitting on the ground at the time, but I am thankful she had enough foresight and courage to do all of this without really being in much danger. It was more a show of aggression from the husband driving the truck.

    And as the grand finale, as they are backing out of my condo complex, I am at the entrance to the condo complex standing next to the drivers side door, and he reaches in the glove box, pulls out a gun, and says to his wife, "why don't we just kill him?". At this point she was erratic trying to get her husband to leave, covering the gun with her jacket and pulling his arm down. I could tell she was horrified that he was doing it, and at that point, they left and we immediately called the police.

    As you can imagine, their story of what happened didn't match mine at all. Luckily I had half a dozen witnesses to the entire thing, otherwise I might be just someone pissed off at the justice system stuck in a he said she said situation. Instead, he is facing a possible felony/misdimeanor and restraining order.

    The scariest thing about this is, I wasn't even aware that I had done anything even remotely wrong. When it all started to go down, I was in complete shock that someone was even remotely upset, let alone wanting to kill me. I felt as if I was a safe distance away from all houses when I was flying. With over 10 years of flying under my belt, I have a good idea of what a safe distance is.

    So the lesson is, take special care, try to diffuse the situation, and always protect yourself. I hope I am the only person this ever happens to.
     
    Arvidj, clivek_77, Frank Palm and 6 others like this.
  2. Apparition

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    Wow, just wow
     
    QuikSilver15 likes this.
  3. RedHotPoker

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    That's bloody insane. Wish that they will pull the plug on that loony...

    Can not believe how phucked up the world can be...
    With people like that, loose, it's not surprising anymore.

    Sorry to hear about this and I hope that you are ok...

    RedHotPoker
     
    #3 RedHotPoker, Jun 4, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015
  4. bobmyers

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    "They are sick out there and getting sicker":eek:
     
    JKDSensei and QuikSilver15 like this.
  5. BGCCDX

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  6. skyhighdiver

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    Well you know you are in Calif. I don't think I need go any further :rolleyes::confused::confused::confused::confused:
     
  7. bobvumd

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    Damnnn, Crazy people :eek: !!! I live in SoCal too, thanks for the warning, bro.
     
    Joeg1937 likes this.
  8. Julius717

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    Oh boy I pray someone tries that with me.
     
    wali likes this.
  9. QuikSilver15

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    Glad your ok! Its a crazy world we're in these days! Your gf! Put a ring on it! ;), Protect the drone!
     
    Weathabee likes this.
  10. vagoat

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    Blade at 45 degrees... ok wrong forum. ;). Even though I carry a concealed pistol I would have tried to diffuse the situation the best I could. Glad your ok.
     
    Apparition and EODpunk like this.
  11. hozzie

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    Glad you are ok,but 30 yards is very close to a house. Personally, I would never purposely go that close to someone's house. While this guy certainly over reacted and should be held accountable, I think it is probably a good lesson for you as well to maybe not fly so close to others homes.
     
    Marlin009 and BGCCDX like this.
  12. skyhighdiver

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    So this is not ok :D My Fist Phantom flew to my brothers house many times about 1/2 mile away would drop in till the video cut out then RTH got this message on day 4
     

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  13. Marlin009

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    I missed where the OP said his location.

    100' is way too close. The reaction, as portrayed, is just stupid.
     
  14. CloudsNeverDie

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    Two words: press charges.

    Also, talk to a lawyer - you might be able to sue in civil court for damages (emotional distress).
     
  15. terry d

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    I don't get it, I have ultralights, paragliders, small single engine planes flying over the neighborhood all the time and at low levels and nobody says a word, but a 5 pound quad freaks everyone out. As far as privacy, you could park in front of someones house and take pictures all day and get better more evasive shots then a phantom would get.
     
  16. BarryM

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    Looks like these people have something to hide...maybe tell the police to do a search of their property?
     
    J.James likes this.
  17. Marlin009

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    All day. That's a lot of pictures.
     
  18. gravity

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    Wow. Too bad your phantom wasn't recording that.
     
  19. loganboyd

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    What do you feed your Phantom? Mine is well under 5 pounds!
     
    clkilljoy likes this.
  20. AgentOrange2015

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    It would seem, from your story, that the wife, was the instigator for all of this. What I am wandering as most others are, is, what were they doing or have done, that they are so scared of others finding out that they have to resort to taking a threatening posture. Unless your a clinically diagnosed Paranoid, their actions are totally out of line and fulfill the definition of "Terroristic Threatening" towards you and everyone else in your company. Law enforcement would be well advised to look into this couple closely and from their actions, seek a search warrant based upon probable cause to completely search their entire property, both above and below ground. Buried Bodies? Who Knows?, stranger things have happened, especially, in Southern California.
     
    J.James, clivek_77 and cjmwales like this.