Drone outside apartment window prompts call to Seattle police


It might be creepy, but it was perfectly legal when some guys flew a drone outside a woman's Seattle apartment window this weekend, prompting a call to police.

The Seattle Police Department reports the woman got worried after spotting the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle outside her apartment window near Terry Ave. and Stewart St. early Sunday morning.

The woman was concerned the drone was looking into her apartment and called and reported the incident to her building concierge, who immediately called police.

The concierge went outside the building and spotted two men piloting the drone. The men were also carrying a tripod and video camera. Soon after, they packed up their gear and drove away.

Seattle Police officer Patrick Michaud says the drone flyers were not breaking any laws because it is legal to take photographs and video from any public place, and the FAA has not issued specific rules for recreational drone flying.

A federal judge ruled earlier this year the remote-controlled aircraft are legal because the FAA has not issued any rules governing model aircraft photography.

The FAA is working with law enforcement to further clarify rules for unmanned aircraft systems, the agency said in a news release Monday.



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Comment by Muhammad Al-Rawi on June 24, 2014 at 1:58pm

Well, at least they didn't try to make up any laws. 

But its another case of someone being very quick to assume. People should make their concerns known before involving the police. 

Comment by John Church on June 24, 2014 at 5:27pm
Remember, just because you see a drone, it doesn't mean the drone sees you.
Comment by Robert Pigeon on June 24, 2014 at 5:56pm

If you don't like it close your blinds. It is no different than a neighbor looking in your window.

Comment by Bill Patterson on June 25, 2014 at 5:11am

How is this news?

Would she call cops if the person on the balcony across the street was looking in her general direction with binoculars? And if she did, would it be news?

Comment by Pedals2Paddles on June 25, 2014 at 5:33am

Well It is a little different than the neighbor across the street looking in your general direction from a balcony.  This would be more like the neighbor across the street setting up a telescope and pointing it in your bathroom window.  There is no law against this kind of behavior. However it is still creepy, rude, and asking for trouble.  Frankly, if you are using your "model aircraft" to stare through your neighbor's window, you deserve whatever you get for it.  The cops may not be able to arrest you.  But when your aircraft gets knocked out of the sky and you get your ass kicked, boo hoo.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on June 25, 2014 at 7:25am

This morning, Fox "News" reported that the drone was actually being operated by Skyris Imaging, who were doing a job of taking photographs to show sightlines for a new apartment building. 

Comment by Quadzimodo on June 25, 2014 at 9:34am
There is absolutely nothing creepy about drones whatsoever.
What IS creepy however are those select few individuals in our communities who see a drone and are immediately able to convince themselves that (a) the person flying it is some sort of predator who is (b) engaged in an activity of a perverted nature and that (c) they are somehow the subject of interest and that (d) they need to take action by taking matters into their own hands.
As we have seen recently, some take matters into their own hands by issuing threats, verbal abuse and even physical assault. Thankfully sanity prevailed in this instance and the lady's compulsion to act lead her to contact authorities, resulting in a peaceful outcome for all parties.
Comment by Pedals2Paddles on June 25, 2014 at 11:40am

Well I guess Skyris can kiss their business goodbye now.  They made the news, doing responsible, safe, harmless aerial photography.  So the FAA will be sending them a cease and desist notice and fine tomorrow.

Comment by Timothy Clemans on June 25, 2014 at 11:58am

Interesting 2 minute 60 minutes piece about this incident https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBiLDujVFZw

Comment by Timothy Clemans on June 25, 2014 at 12:04pm


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