VIDEO: Teen drone operator attacked by woman yelling, “little pervert”

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MADISON, CT — A Westbrook woman faces third-degree assault and breach of peace charges after police say she attacked a 17-year-old who was flying a drone over the beach at Hammonasset Beach State Park in Madison.

Andrea Mears, 23, was charged May 12 after a confrontation at the beach. State Environmental Conservation Police released her on her a promise to appear in court. She is due back in Superior Court in New Haven June 19, reported

A video purportedly showing the assault was posted to YouTube and LiveLeak this weekend. The video, which Austin Haughwout of Clinton said he took with his phone, shows a woman pulling on the neck of his shirt and clawing at his face while swearing at him and calling him a “little pervert.”

Police said Mears called the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection emergency dispatch center on May 12 to report that someone was flying a remote-controlled aircraft with a camera on it over the beach.

A short time later, Haughwout called to report that he was being assaulted by a woman, later identified as Mears, police said. No charges were filed against Haughwout.

EnCon police and Madison police responded to the calls and after investigating charged Mears.

“Though [Haughwout] may have hit Mears at some point in the incident, it appeared to be while he was defending himself and attempting to get away from the attack,” EnCon Officer Robert Monday wrote in his report.

Haughwout said he was glad he recorded the confrontation on his phone. “If I didn’t I think I would have been arrested,” he said.

He said he was flying his radio-controlled quadcopter over the beach. Because of the altitude at which the craft was flying, any people captured on video were too small to see clearly, he said.


    • Zach

      Are you kidding me? You know that’s not the kind of drone he has right… RIGHT! He probably had a homebuilt or hobbyshop drone that would cost around $100-$300.

    • Zach

      Are you kidding me? You know that’s not the kind of drone he has right… RIGHT! He probably had a homebuilt or hobbyshop drone that would cost around $100-$300.

    • John

      Becky you are an idiot, and a jealous one at that. When you ignorantly spread your misinformation it proves it.
      Even if this “drone” did cost $15,000., so what maybe his grandparent left him an inheritance.
      My question is what was the woman doing on the public beach, that she would call this kid a pervert???
      Could it be that this skank was pervert, committing a lewd act in public? Just asking.

  • Steve Hall

    Taking pictures or video with your hands, standing on public ground is one thing, flying a drone with a camera recording on a beach with remote in hand is invasive and can be viewed both ways, he’s young and oh what can you see was probably the way she was thinking. When you see drones recording like this in public areas, professionals put signs warning of video in process, he was doing it for his own personal reasons, I don’t know, but hey you have to respect others when flying a remote drone and recording, just not the same as camera in hand! Just another brat, with a expensive hobby, and no parental supervision when he goes and plays with his expensive toys, if I was her lawyer, I’d go have his computer confiscated and see what he actually does with his drone. Quick before he erases files.

  • jasmine

    thats a crazy female, she needs to be sued, looks like anger issues, hope she doesnt have kids, and do them that way, he was just a kid,

  • A Concerned Citizen

    A remote controlled quad-copter is NOT a drone. It is no different than a remote controlled helicopter, or airplane. Please do not confuse these, as the are not the same.

    • Steve Hall

      And a drone is controlled by what, some remote somewhere. Or computerized remote, doing same thing with cameras that relay info back to the operator. Some apps are capable of doing the same thing with wifi and these cameras, what can’t be done, flying time is the challenge.

  • morrow

    I went in to a 7-11 store this past week and was taken back by the large display of remote control flying machines (drones)for sale, i don’t know if they had cameras but they were very large and pretty impressive, and a nice price tag on them from$49.00 – $99.00.

  • Steve Hall

    Remote or drone whatever, had a camera, used as a invasive devise by not being in his hands and public acknowledgement that he was videoing from airspace, not cool, lucky someone with a ccw or open carry for whatever that matters, shoot it out of the sky, 150 dollar hobby gone, lesson learned, better yet a fighter scale jet shoot it from the sky.

  • Steve J.

    It is not illegal to film in public, no matter if the camera is in your hand or on a quad-rotor. The kid was not breaking any laws. If you don’t want to be on video, then don’t go outside.

  • Fed Up With BIG Government

    Oh here we go again….it’s not as if this kid was working for the NSA, give it a rest. It’s a public beach and a kid with a toy. Where he got it, is nobody’s business. How he got it, is nobody’s business. Where his parents are, is nobody’s business. Was he using it for nefarious purposes, prove it!

  • Tawny Easterling

    Okay, so a tourist having a $900 video camera or still camera with a wide angle lens or high definition lens at Monhasset beach is okay by law.
    But a local kid using a $150.00 quadracopter to film using a low res camera to take video from 50 to 100 plus feet up is not!?
    Yeah that’s logical!
    It is above the tops of the trees for gosh sakes!
    Unless you are doing something illegal or illicit, like a drug deal or sunbathing naked, you shouldn’t be worried about a “pervert” filming you. What could he possibly see that anyone standing near you couldn’t?
    Would she have attacked a news crew filming her while doing a story about the beach?
    I think not!

  • emily

    first off his parents could have got the toy for him or he could have a job and got it himself my dad has several of these toys he even got my daughter one for her second birthday my dads dont have cameras but even if they had i dont see what the issue is wouldnt u like your own video if sunset on a beach i know i would

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