California man charged with crashing drone into LAPD helicopter

November 21, 2020 at 16:55

A Hollywood man who operated a drone that crashed into a police helicopter, forcing an emergency landing, is facing a federal charge.
Andrew Rene Hernandez, 22, was arrested by FBI agents Thursday and charged with one count of unsafe operation of an unmanned aircraft, the Justice Department said.
The criminal case is believed to be the first in the nation stemming from a drone collision.
The incident occurred Sept. 18, when LAPD officers responded to a burglary at a Hollywood pharmacy and needed air support.
The pilot wasn't able to avoid the drone and had to land after the collision.
LOS ANGELES PROSECUTORS DECLINE TO CHARGE MOTHER OF SCHOOL SHOOTERFederal authorities claim that the accident could have been deadly.
“If the drone had struck the helicopter’s main rotor instead of the fuselage, it could have brought the helicopter down,” according to the complaint.
Hernandez admitted to flying the drone, controlling it via a device attached to his smartphone.
LOS ANGELES COULD ISSUE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER BY SUNDAY: OFFICIALLAPD officers located parts of the drone near the pharmacy, as well as a damaged vehicle that the drone also struck as it fell.
Investigators identified Hernandez based on camera footage taken by the drone.
The misdemeanor offense is punishable by up to a year in prison.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APPAuthorities do not believe Hernandez intentionally caused the drone to ram the copter.