According to The Verge, two Manhattan men are being charged with felony reckless endangerment, an incredibly serious crime, after supposedly flying a DJI Phanton 2 drone too close to a police helicopter. According to police, the incident happened over the George Washington Bridge just past midnight earlier this week.

There are conflicting reports between the two men and the NYPD. The police claim that the drone was flying over 2,000 feet in the air, while the men say the drone was at roughly 300 feet and that they were attempting to get the drone away from the helicopter. They also claim that they have video evidence of the helicopter chasing the drone as they were trying to get out of its airspace. The video below contains not only interviews with the two men but a witness who also disputes the NYPD’s claims.

Drones are legal to fly and I imagine it’s only going to be a matter of time before the FAA institutes rules to prevent this sort of thing from happening. This incident seems unfortunate and it’s hard not to think that the NYPD is overreacting. Nobody can blame them for investigating what could be a potential threat, but the felony charges seem extreme, especially if the NYPD is indeed exaggerating its claims of how high the drone was flying.

Keep those drones low, kids, and preferably out of Manhattan airspace.

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