A Westbrook, Connecticut, woman is facing charges for attacking a teenager who flew a quadcopter drone over the beach in Hammonasset Beach State Park.
Andrea Mears, 23, is accused of assaulting Austin Haughwout, 17, on May 12 after she noticed a flying drone with a camera attached on it flying over the Middle Beach at Hammonasset. She was charged with third degree assault and second degree breach of peace, police said.
Mears told ABC News that she had called the police complaining about “a little remote-operated plane flying over the beach.” Before the police arrived, Mears tracked down Austin Haughwout, pilot of the drone, and confronted him at the park.
The verbal and physical altercation was recorded on Haughwout’s phone, and the video was uploaded to YouTube. In the video, Mears was seen ripping Haughwout’s shirt and putting her fingers in his mouth.
Haughwout told ABC News that the video became shaky after Mears knocked him in the face.
"Can someone call the cops? I'm being assaulted," Haughwout can be heard saying on the video.
Mears said that she didn't like having her picture taken by the drone. “It makes me feel violated that I don’t know what he did with my images, and where they are,” Mears said.
Haughwout has previously uploaded numerous aerial videos of school buildings, playgrounds, and natural landscape, all captured by his drone.
“It appears that the drone was flying so high. You can’t really identify the individuals on the beach,” said Dwayne Gardner, spokesperson for the state's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
Mears said she had been getting many harassment emails online and hundreds of friend requests from strange men on Facebook.
"I've been just hiding at home," Mears said. "Everything was fine before he posted the video with my name in it."
Haughwout said it was not his intention for that to happen. "I only posted the video because she bluntly lied to the police, saying that I assaulted her."
"The assault wouldn't have happened if I didn't feel like I was in danger," Mears said.
Haughwout said had Mears told him she was not happy about him filming on the beach, he would have left.
"She didn't ask any of that. She just hit me," Haughwout said.
Mears is schedule to be in court on June 19, according to the Judicial Branch at the State of Connecticut.