Teacher Arrested For Flying A Drone At U.S. Open


A teacher in New York City was arrested Friday on charges of flying a drone in Louis Armstrong Stadium the evening before during a U.S. Open tennis match. The drone crashed into empty seats, and no one was injured, The Associated Press reported. Daniel Verley, 26, faces charges of reckless endangerment and operating a drone in a city park where such devices are prohibited. Police said he is a teacher at the Academy of Innovative Technology in Brooklyn, the AP reported. The incident briefly interrupted the match, during which players heard something buzzing overhead but weren’t told until afterward that it was a drone, according to the report. On its website, the U.S. Open listsDrones (UAS-Unmanned Aircraft Systems) or other model aircraft”among the list of prohibited items.

Queens County District Attorney Richard Brown issued a statement (PDF) Friday, indicating he intends to pursue a criminal case. The incident “clearly illustrates that drones cannot simply be considered children’s toys. Many people operating unmanned aircraft are novices with little or no aviation experience and recklessly flying a drone near, over or into a tennis stadium or an airport or any other place where large groups of people assemble needlessly puts lives in danger,” the statement said. “Those who engage in conduct of this nature will be held legally accountable for their actions. They will not be treated as children – or as innocent hobbyists.”