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US man fined $850 for shooting down neighbour's drone

A US man has been fined $850 for shooting down his neighbour's home-built drone with a shotgun which he believed was spying on him.

world Updated: Jun 30, 2015 15:41 IST
home-built drone

A US man has been fined $850 for shooting down his neighbour's home-built drone with a shotgun which he believed was spying on him.

Eric Joe was flying his homemade hexacopter drone in his parent's backyard in Modesto, California, in November last year when it was struck by a 12-gauge shotgun fire from nearby walnut trees.

Joe claimed his neighbour Brett McBay shot the drone down because he thought it was a surveillance vehicle.

"When I went out to go find it, I saw him come out, shotgun in hand," Joe said.

When the two men could not agree on a fee to compensate for the broken drone, Joe brought the case before the Stanislaus County small claims court.

McBay claimed the drone was flying over his property and he was within his rights to shoot, despite GPS data provided by Joe showing that the machine was hovering over a walnut orchard owned by his parents, not McBay's property, when it was brought down.

However the court last month pronounced that McBay "acted unreasonably in having his son shoot the drone down regardless of whether it was over his property or not."

The court handed out the $850 fine to McBay, 'Ars Technica' reported.

However, McBay still has not paid the damages and Joe says that if he is not paid he will pursue further legal action.

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