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Ogdensburg (NY) man charged after allegedly shooting down neighbor's drone

anotherlab

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An Ogdensburg (Way Upstate NY) man was arrested for shooting down a drone that flew over his property.

From the State Police report
NY State Police said:
On June 19, 2024, State Police members arrested Joseph H. Dishaw, age 60, of Ogdensburg, NY for menacing 2nd, and criminal possession of a weapon 4th

On June 18, 2024, at approximately 6:06 p.m., Troopers responded to Haggert Road in the town of Oswegatchie for a report of a drone being shot down. An investigation determined Dishaw became angry when his neighbor started flying a drone over his property. Dishaw used a shotgun to shoot down the drone in the direction of the victim in a threatening manner.

Dishaw was arrested and transported to SP Ogdensburg for processing. He was arraigned in the Town of Morristown Court, where he was released on his own recognizance.
 
Shooting down a drone is only a crime on paper, it is rarely prosecuted to a conviction at the federal level; certainly not going to happen in this case. You have to ask yourself why doesn't the state have a crime for shooting down aircraft/drones?

"[Suspect] has been charged with second-degree menacing and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon after the incident."

Basically the same thing that happens to anyone who discharges a firearm in the state of NY even if you shoot in anger at your neighbor's car tire or shoot a [silly] warning shot at a dog that is barking at you. The guy should have never shot the drone and he definitely should be in trouble for it but do you think this is the appropriate charge because his shot was in the direction of his neighbor; does it sound intentional? We don't know all the facts, so maybe.


Commentary: NY Penal Law § 120.14: Menacing in the second degree

The gun charge will probably stick but it is bogus too (unless he is a felon) but it doesn't sound serious:


These are not serious crimes, not even felonies. He signed out of jail so those few hours he spent there are probably his last especially if he apologizes and pay for the drone considering this is so far upstate.
 
Is it not a felony to shoot down, toss a net over, throw stones at or otherwise disable a sUAS that is in flight? Doesn't the FAA go after those perps? I also understood it is also a felony to harass / attack a drone operator (pilot) while he/she is flying a drone. I'll bet if this was reported to FAA, they would have something to say.
 
Is it not a felony to shoot down, toss a net over, throw stones at or otherwise disable a sUAS that is in flight? Doesn't the FAA go after those perps? I also understood it is also a felony to harass / attack a drone operator (pilot) while he/she is flying a drone. I'll bet if this was reported to FAA, they would have something to say.
Unfortunately, the FAA doesn't have an enforcement arm, they have to rely on other agencies for that. They can only issue civil penalties and fines.
 
Unfortunately, the FAA doesn't have an enforcement arm, they have to rely on other agencies for that. They can only issue civil penalties and fines.
I'm not sure I would consider it "unfortunate". Federal agencies with such powers need to have checks in place. Just this week the SCOTUS struck down the EPA's practice of playing judge, jury and executioner for alleged violations of their rules because it robbed those accused of their due process. Enforcement of rules (remember rules may not always be laws) is great provided we have the ability to legally challenge such enforcement.
 
Is it not a felony to shoot down, toss a net over, throw stones at or otherwise disable a sUAS that is in flight? Doesn't the FAA go after those perps? I also understood it is also a felony to harass / attack a drone operator (pilot) while he/she is flying a drone. I'll bet if this was reported to FAA, they would have something to say.
If the attack on the drone caused any serious harm (i.e., it fell onto a car which then swerved and crashed into something, injuring or killing its occupants) then I'm pretty sure they would follow up on it. But with no injury other than to the drone itself it seems unlikely. It may end up being left to the drone owner to sue for the value of his equipment.
 
"I must be a good shot!" 🤣

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Have there been any such cases at all?
Just google "drone shooting conviction"

This Mensa candidate was convicted last year of shooting down a LE drone

Florida Man was arrested for shooting a Walmart delivery drone
 
In the cases I've read about, the crime prosecuted has always been something other than shooting at the drone, like the first case you mentioned. In the second, it's good to see that "shooting at an aircraft" was among the charges.

Thanks.


This Mensa candidate was convicted last year of shooting down a LE drone

"Wendell D. Goney, 52, the Lake County man who shot down a police drone using a .22-caliber rifle in 2021, pleaded guilty Friday to possessing a firearm as a felon."

Florida Man was arrested for shooting a Walmart delivery drone

"Winn was arrested and charged with shooting at an aircraft, criminal mischief damage over $1,000, and discharging a firearm in public or residential property."
 
I'm curious, do these people ask themselves "where's the bullet going to end up ?" ?
 
Last edited:
I'm curious, do t these people ask themselves where's the bullet going to end up ?
Being able to anticipate the consequences of their action is not one of their greatest strengths. The UK must have some equivalent of "Florida Man".
 
I'm curious, do these people ask themselves "where's the bullet going to end up ?" ?
Someone once told me if they asked me what time it was, I would tell them how to build a clock. Bear that in mind with my answer, along with the fact that I have spent some time with firearms and studying ballistics and they are among my favorite topics.

Do people in these circumstances ask themselves where a bullet will end up? Almost never, as evidenced by New Year's Eve casualties. Fortunately, physics coupled with the space human bodies actually take up in comparison with the area around them, make injuries rather rare and fatalities even rarer. Here is a statistic to explain this better: if everyone in London stood outside while someone fired a gun straight up in the air, there is a 0.064 percent chance of someone being struck.

Now for the physics aspect. A bullet starts to lose velocity the instant it leaves the barrel. The further it travels, the slower it gets. So a 9mm bullet that would certainly do me great harm at a few feet, loses it's potential danger the further it travels. Right now, we are talking about bullets fired horizontally or at an angle. Obviously, if fired horizontally, there is much greater chance of the bullet encountering an object, either living or inert but a 9mm fired horizontally will, by the force of gravity, strike the ground around 200 yards after leaving the barrel. The same bullet fired at an angle will most likely encounter nothing until it's trajectory takes it back to within say 20 feet of the ground. By this time, it has lost much of it's energy/velocity, but can still cause serious harm to an exposed person, depending upon the angle at which it was fired, the distance traveled, and the remaining velocity. Here is an example, using again, a 9mm handgun bullet: A 9mm bullet of 115 grains weight traveling at 1300 feet per second fired at a 45 degree angle can travel 2,455 yards (more than a mile) before striking the ground. At that time, it will still be traveling at 337 feet per second, enough to injure or possibly even kill someone. Rifle bullets, by virtue of their better ballistic coefficients and higher velocity have a much greater range and potential for damage, while shotguns firing shot rather than slugs, have poorer properties all around and therefore potential for damage. When injuries occur, they are most often from bullets fired relatively horizontally or at moderate angles. The steeper the angle, the less likely severe injury becomes due to loss of velocity, but possibility of injury still exists.

Bullets fired straight up into the air will travel a fixed distance, based upon the original energy and other factors. Eventually it will lose all upward momentum and be pulled back to earth by gravity alone. Thus, a bullet fired in such a manner will return to earth at around 147 feet per second terminal velocity. To put this into proper perspective, a slingshot can fire a projectile in the neighborhood of 260 feet per second. So such a returning bullet would certainly make it's presence known if it hit you, it is fairly unlikely to kill you.

So, why do we see so many reports of people being struck and even killed? It reflects back to the scenario I first spoke of, bullets being fired horizontally or at shallow angles. Bullets fired in this manner only lose enough velocity to become less than lethal over great distances.

Absolutely NONE of this should be construed as endorsement of such acts which are reckless and should not transpire under any circumstances! Police, military and hunters are trained to always look for possible danger beyond their intended target, yet even they make mistakes occasionally. Enraged idiots firing at drones are very unlikely to think that far ahead and should be prosecuted to the furthest extent of the law.
 
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