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Bullitt County man arrested for gunning down a drone above his home

A Hillview man was arrested on Sunday after he gunned down a drone with a Number 8 birdshot that was hovering over his property.

The man, William Meredith, told popular technology website Ars Technica, “It was hovering, I would never have shot it if it was flying. When he came down with a video camera right over my back deck, that’s not going to work. I know they’re neat little vehicles, but one of those uses shouldn’t be flying into people’s yards and videotaping.”

Moments after the drone went down, a car full of men approached Meredith’s home to confront him. He said one of them asked, “Are you the son of a bitch that shot my drone?”

Meredith, now wearing a 10mm glock on his hip, replied, “If you cross that sidewalk onto my property, there’s going to be another shooting.”

He was later arrested and charged with criminal mischief and wanton endangerment. He was released the following day.

Read the entire story with more from Meredith on

Now let’s throw this one out for discussion…

Did he have the right to blast the drone that was hovering over his property with a camera? In his defense, he has young daughters who were out on the back deck when it came by, although the drone owners say they were getting photos of a nearby house.

This is a tough one. I would’ve thrown a football at it, at least. Probably would’ve mooned it first.

Here’s the news report from WDRB:

WDRB 41 Louisville News

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

89 Comments for Bullitt County man arrested for gunning down a drone above his home

  1. Meeksfor3
    6:08 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    It was trespassing so shoot it down

    • flyer
      8:03 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

      Hmmm so would you shoot a helicopter flying over your property. The FAA, FBI, Homeland security all would have a serious talk with you if you did

    • huck
      10:20 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

      Aircraft are supposed to stay 1000 ft away from people, vehicles or structures(not sure about baloons). 8 shot will not even go 1000 ft. So flyer….. what do you fly? You sound more like a magic carpet flyer than anything.

    • Les Bien
      5:37 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

      Magic Carpet is for riding and tongue lashing.

  2. Bullitt County UK fan
    6:10 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    He had every right to shoot it down. We have the right to privacy and private property so if a drone is videotaping your actions or your property you can do with it what you want.

    • ukjaybrat
      7:44 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

      exactly, and this is why he was released the next day. they had no grounds for “actually” arresting him. so they could only hold him 24 hours and had to let him go.

  3. ColoradoCat
    6:11 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    Perhaps the buck shot was a bit much depending on where he lives, but I’m all for the guy taking it down. It was over his property, with his kids around, and you don’t know who is flying that thing. I’m all for the guy telling the drone flyer to step off too. If not for the buckshot in (presumably) a residential area, the man shouldn’t have ever seen the inside of a jail cell for this.

    • Cody lockhart
      6:33 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

      It was birdshot, not buckshot. According to Drew, anyway. Haven’t read the actual article yet.

  4. inside info2
    6:14 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    Slippery slope. I probably would’ve done or wanted to have done the same thing. But shooting a shotgun in a neighborhood could be dangerous. But he will probably have the charges dropped to misdemeanor. Will K-LAW defend him?!?

  5. WeareBBN
    6:14 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    Good for him. His property, his area. The drone owner can make every excuse but if in fact it was over his property he had every right, even if it did not have a camera. The fact it had a camera just puts him more in the right. Too bad that car full of men did not test him, jerks.

  6. Stuck on Blue
    6:16 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    He had every right to shoot the drone down. The owner(s) of the drone should be charged with trespassing.

  7. gun owners of bbn
    6:17 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    I’m not gonna say buck shot isn’t safer but it’s safer than a rifle or pistol that will go thru houses or travel for miles, buck shot was deffently the better option

  8. Bill
    6:21 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    I’m sorry but if it is hovering over his house video taping then bring it down. If you have children then I would probably capitalize the “B” in bring it down. I wouldn’t want to do it in a way that might endanger others. The drone’s owner should have notified the home owner or occupant of the home of the purpose of the video taping. Otherwise there is no way to know the purpose. There are too many home burglaries and perps running around to ignore this. I might be able to bring it down with a baseball. Don’t know if I can throw a football that well. Depends on how high it was.

  9. Pmo
    6:21 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    Good for him! BLAST AWAY

  10. freethrow
    6:24 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    How low was it really flying and how close to his property line? It could have been hovering and been taking video in the opposite direction. IMO, he could have followed it to its home base and confronted the owner first.

    • Scott
      1:52 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

      Well, low enough to hit with a shotty.

  11. eric
    6:25 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    If he knocked it down with 8 shot it must have been hovering pretty low. The owner of the drone doesn’t have the right to fly the drone wherever he wants and especially not a good idea to be flying it low and videotaping.

    • chimichanga
      9:38 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

      My thoughts exactly.

  12. Cal's Cats
    6:28 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    These drones are definitely invading people’s privacy. There isn’t legal precedent on this one way or the other. What was he technically arrested for? The shooting of the gun? Someone needs to develop a device that takes away the signal of the drone if it is in your area. You shoot the signal at it, the drone falls on your property. The owners come looking for it and then you can tell them to keep their drone off your land or the next time it will be turned into the police.

    • Tampa satchel
      9:37 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

      Can’t fire a gun in a neighborhood unless you are protecting a life. Maybe he should get a net cannon.

  13. Blue_denim
    6:29 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    In my opinion he had the right to do what he did. Jeez it’s scary that this will only continue to escalate as more and more drones become available. The group of men should have at least asked him permission to hover there and/or alerted him as to what their intent was. They are at equal fault if he his

  14. Cody lockhart
    6:31 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    100% in the right. Blow it away.

  15. John Keeton
    6:36 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    There’s a lot of talk these days about people’s rights but very little about their responsibility, especially to the rest of society. You’ve got a right to fly a drone and, in my opinion, if you fly into my personal space I have a right to take action, up to and including shooting the damn thing down. You’ve got a right to travel just about anywhere you want here in the US but if you walk through my front door uninvited the reception will not be pleasant! The arrogant SOB that demanded to know “Are you the son of a bitch that shot my drone?” was asking for a good ass whipping as well from the sound of things.

  16. Laker Cat 18
    6:38 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    Only a moron would fly a drone over someone else’s property, think it would be a good idea to approach aggressively, and then verbally attack the drone killer on his own property. People are ignorant. It’s simple. Ask for permission before flying a recording drone over someone’s property.

  17. Ukjonny9
    6:43 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    Did it ever occur to the man to walk over and ask the person what he was recording, if anything? Since I doubt that the camera points straight down, just because it is over an area, doesn’t mean that is what it is recording. Something to be said for ask questions then shoot as opposed to the opposite.

    • oruacat2
      11:10 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

      No, the burden of “asking questions first” is on the jackass who was flying the drone over another guy’s house.

  18. Rise
    6:44 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    I applaud this man. Drones are cool, but when you invade other peoples privacy by flying right over their deck it is wrong. I am sure he felt threatened when a group of people approached and started cursing him. Well done sir. Protect your property and family.

  19. Randy4UK
    6:47 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    He had every right to shot it down. The owner of the drone should have been arrested for invasion of privacy.

    • Tampa satchel
      9:38 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

      Would he have been arrested for standing on the curb in front of his house? This is not so easily answered.

  20. UKBlue
    6:48 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    Depending upon the property type, the Supreme Court has stated you own the airspace anywhere from 80 – 500 feet above your property. Multiple problems: 1. Why was it flying over his houses? 2. Was it hovering over his house? When it doubt blast it & let the lawyers figure it out. This guy got a great case for suing these people.

  21. Will Jacobs
    6:50 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    A lot of places consider a drone an aircraft, and any attempt to damage an aircraft in flight is a crime. It is a very slippery slope, and not a lot of legal precedent to stand on. I can’t blame him for taking issue to a drone with a camera flying over his property and children. This will probably end up in a big court case in the near future.

    • LexJim
      7:38 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

      What places? This is the same old dribble I hear. “People say…” or “It’s accepted fact that…” I call b.s. Name the places.

    • Scott
      1:54 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

      @LexJim Oh give it a break. Its a comment section, not a doctoral thesis. No one is required to give a full freaking works cited list to have an opinion.

  22. Scarsnbars
    6:58 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    A complete violation of the man’s privacy. Next thing you know drones will be hovering at our windows. The guy that owned the drone was obviously an idiot.

  23. Kyle
    6:59 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    Black Drone Down–Shoot it down.

  24. jeffj
    7:01 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    good sport man. every team needs a shooter

  25. Sylvar
    7:02 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    I think dronesare neat and have tons of practiacle uses. I know at least one farmer who uses one to fly over his fields and check on his crops….that said, I have daughters. Any drone videotaping on my property will be assumed to belong to a pervert and shot down.

  26. Angelo
    7:04 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    Is the drone considered a ‘peeping Tom?’ Can they video through a window into your house? Interesting case.

  27. WithinReason
    7:05 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    So many mistakes in this situation. First the drone operators if doing legitimate work like filming the neighboring house for a realestate sale they should have walked or called the neighbors to explain why a drone would be in the area, how long it would be staying and what it would be filming. If they’re just doing it for fun they should know better than annoying people. That said I also don’t believe Johny Shotgun acted correctly either. Surely filing a complaint with the local police (the same ones who arrested him) would have given him satisfaction.

    • PC Plice
      8:40 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

      Yes. He should have allowed the drone operator to video his kids as long as he wanted and then driven to the police station and filed a complaint. Someone may, or may not have, eventually acted upon the complaint about a random drone flying overhead without actually harming anyone. So, the drone operator gets what he wanted and the resident gets nothing. Criminals thrive on such passivity. I’m glad you’re not responsible for protecting my loved ones. Shoot it down if hovering over your property.

  28. Tosis
    7:05 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    You can’t just shoot things (or people…especially people) just because they’re on your property. Now if the drone had guns attached to it, that could be a perceived as a reasonable threat and it would be different. But you can’t just shoot for the sake of shooting. You just can’t. Was the drone flyer wrong? Absolutely. The guy has every right to file a complaint with the police against the drone flyer for trespassing, but you can’t just shoot things (again…or people) because they are on land you own. Especially in a residential area.

    • shawn
      7:27 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

      If people are on your property threatening you, yes you can, its called self defense. Also if something is trespassing on your property then you have a right to deal with it. I own a small farm if someone parks on my land to go hiking, walking, fishing, hunting, etc. I can have that vehicle towed away and I would. Since it would be hard to tow a drone, he has every right to shoot that thing off his property, especially and it filming from his private property. Come on down here and trespass in Eastern Ky. and see what happens to you or your things.

    • ukjonny9
      7:55 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

      And what exactly was threatening about the situation?

    • Tampa satchel
      9:55 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

      A lot of posters on here thnk tresspassing crosses the threshold for deadly force. They are wrong unless their is threat of death or bodily harm or significant threat to property in some places, so I hope they don’t find out the hard way. It’d be a shame if they were sent to prison and then no one would be there to protect their family.

    • 8 god
      1:29 pm July 30, 2015 Permalink

      It would also be a shame if someone was dead.

  29. JQ
    7:27 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    William Meredith for President!

    • Eyebleedblue
      7:47 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

      He’s an American hero. Just wish he had set it on fire after he shot it down and video’d it.

  30. Jimmy Adcock
    7:34 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    Do we not own the air space over our property? It looks to me that if we see something we deem may be a threat to us or our family we have every right to take whatever action is nessascary to take the threat out!

  31. HAP Strunk
    7:44 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    I think Meredith is justified. Flying past is one thing and hovering while shooting video is another. I think Mereidth has a case against the owners of the drone. Don’t want your drone shot down? Don’t hover where you don’t belong.

  32. Michael
    7:46 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    To all the people saying he should have just talked to the guys. Hmmm, you don’t know what the intentions of multiple people flying tech over your house. Yeah, walking up to them and asking, “Hey, are you casing my house, or is this darker than that?” sounds like about as solid an idea to me as selling a car on craigslist. (If you can even locate them in the first place before the drone flies off with its recordings already sent back to the controlling computer. They make those things with some serious range these days.) I’m an electrical engineering phd student an another SEC school (Vandy, but I still bleed blue) and I believe in good legitimate uses for technology (I just gave my dad a mid-level drone for Christmas), but 30 seconds with google says this is a problem that has come up before and needs to be handled before big corporations (like and their delivery drone plans, actually not a terrible plan for some areas) start trying to use them in residential areas for profit.

  33. GC66
    7:48 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    Ironic that it happened in Bullit County, no?

  34. webb55
    8:03 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    (#28)Tosis, …file a complaint? Lol really man wtf!! Follow him to HIS home to confront him? Thats like you letting an armed robbery occur then following him home just to shoot him and then wondering why your getting charged with point is had he fallowed him things would have still got heated and he prolly would still be in jail with even more charges …maybe not more charges but im sure it wouldn’t have turned out well! SHOOT IT DOWN!!!

    • Tampa satchel
      10:09 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

      Drone over my house for unknown reason=armed robbery? lol, I guess I should have been put to death for stealing bubble gum when I was 5.

  35. Ron Hatfield
    8:16 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    If it’s flying, leave it be. If it is in fact hovering, game on. Big difference.

  36. Greg
    8:18 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    I look at it as trespassing plain and simple.

  37. Jon jon
    8:35 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    I didn’t know Glock made a 40mm pistol. It must weigh a few hundred pounds.

    • Troach6
      11:10 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

      Lmbo! He probably needed a crew of 3 to fire that thing!

    • Michael
      12:11 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

      The article said 10mm Glock not 40

  38. Ryan
    8:36 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    Yes because that drone was an invasion of privacy. You don’t know who was piloting it, it could be some weirdo.

  39. Wheelee
    8:36 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    What about Kentucky sports does any of this have to with?

    • catdaddyd
      1:37 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

      It was done in Kentucky, and shooting is a sport. It’s been on espn and is an Olympic sport.

  40. Don
    8:56 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    I think it was a little over kill on his part but that’s what a red neck would do. I haven’t seen anyone suggest the drone was doing what the owners said it was…looking at an entirely different home for whatever reason. How high was the thing flying? Are there videos of the guys home? Do the videos or photos that were taken support him or did he just get drunk and want to shoot something which would not be unusual in Bullitt County?

    • joe
      12:59 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

      wow dude you have such a liberal moron view. maybe the guy should fly one over your home but my guess is you have no wife or daughters just boyfriends. take a hike.

    • catdaddyd
      1:39 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

      You call him a redneck. What would you call him if he was black ?

  41. Guest
    9:23 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    You know, I live in a subdivision, approximately 80 homes. Last summer someone was shooting in my subdivision, so I called both city police and sheriff’s office. Both places said as long as no damage or injury, they couldn’t do anything because I lived 2 miles outside city limits. So, as long as he didn’t live in city limits, didn’t cause damage or injury, he had every right to bring that UFO down. As far as comparing it to a helicopter, seriously? Would a helicopter get directly above your house, hover, and have a camera on it. If it did, it may be in trouble unless there is some very loud identification being done. It must have been low in order to see the camera on it. He did the right thing keeping him off his property. I would have then sue for wrongful incarceration. That would teach some of these drone huggers a lesson about private personal property.

  42. Patrick duncan
    9:28 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    I would have done the same but with a 12 gauge, good job buddy! Ufo’s

  43. Yodnick
    9:35 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    This redneck is a Cat

  44. Bluecat15
    10:01 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink


  45. trentt29
    10:21 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    He had every right to take it down. I have daughters myself if it had been fine over my property I would have done the exact same thing. Differences I would have taken a hammer and smash what was left before the potential owner got there.

  46. nanked
    10:49 pm July 29, 2015 Permalink

    So would it be on to shoot them with the water hose if they get to close?

  47. joe
    12:56 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    well i have news for anyone who flys one over my home and hovers you won’t see it again because i will do exactly what this guy did and that does mean ANYONE PERIOD.

    • Tom
      2:17 pm July 31, 2015 Permalink

      I agree. If its over my property hovering low with a camera or just being used to scare livestock, there won’t be much left of it to find!

  48. I hate liberals
    1:14 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    Drew The Liberal, there is no such thing as a “10mm glock”.

    • Glock owner
      9:51 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

      Yes, there is. I own one.
      And I’m a liberal.

  49. Donald Montgomery
    1:42 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    The Federal Aviation Administration just published its proposed rulemaking on commercial drone regulations. These regulations come after a leak, reported by Forbes over the weekend, that outlined some of the FAA’s thinking on what the future of American skies was going to look like.

    In short, it’s great for commercial hobbyists and photographers and bad for big companies like Amazon.

    To be clear, this is for non-recreational drone flights, so none of this applies if you want to go out in your backyard and take a dronie or something. You can read the FAA’s full regulations here, but these are the juicy highlights:


    Unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 55 lbs. (25 kg).
    Visual line-of-sight (VLOS) only; the unmanned aircraft must remain
    within VLOS of the operator or visual observer.
    At all times the small unmanned aircraft must remain close enough to
    the operator for the operator to be capable of seeing the aircraft with vision unaided by any device other than corrective lenses.
    Small unmanned aircraft may not operate over any persons not directly
    involved in the operation.
    Proposes a microUAS option that would allow operations in Class G
    airspace, over people not involved in the operation, provided the operator certifies he or she has the requisite aeronautical knowledge to perform the operation.
    Daylight-only operations (official sunrise to official sunset, local time).
    Maximum airspeed of 100 mph (87 knots).
    Maximum altitude of 500 feet above ground level

  50. Charlie Warrior
    3:26 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    Wow… these comments are nearly unanimous. And I agree. As a pilot and a drone operator, normal aircraft operations are minimally at 500 ft AGL (above ground level), while drones operate below 500 ft AGL Prudent drone operation should always avoid private property airspace without permission. Always seek private property owner’s permission before overflying their property with a drone!

  51. Movinginstereo
    3:38 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    This sounds like a classic overreaction to me. Anything that leaves you facing 2 felony charges is never a good thing. What’s this guy going to do if this happens again next week? If he keeps shooting them down, he will most definitely wind up in prison. I think he made his point, but he needs to find an alternative to the shotgun. It’s kind of hard to protect your family sitting in a jail cell.

  52. kentuckyrld
    7:35 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    He not only has the right to shoot down the “drone”, he also has the responsibility to protect his home. He should be rewarded for his efforts, certainly not punished.

  53. Linda C
    9:15 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    The drone could have had a camera, gas, or a weapon of some sort… Shoot it down.. He was exactly correct with the men as well.

  54. Tampa satchel
    9:33 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    This is a difficult problem to decide. Clearly we have the right to reasonable privacy, but we can’t shoot someone who is parked or standing on the street in front of our house, so where is the “airial curb” so to speak? Where is that boundary and what would constitue a sufficinet threat that would allow the use of “deadly force” such as this?

    I haven’t formed a conclusion yet, but I know I’m not so quick as many on here to say you can shoot anything/anyone who’s less than 1000 feet over your house. Seems a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to me.

  55. Cincyfan
    9:41 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    +1 in favor of shooting it down.

    As long as it was done in a safe manner, which it appears was. Maybe the legal experts can comment on if there is a case against the drone owners. Invasion of privacy? tresspassing?

    Seems backwards that they show up at the mans house to confront him and he is the one taken to jail. If they had a problem with a man who happened to have a gun they should have called the police first. They were asking for trouble in that scenario.

  56. Kenny
    10:26 am July 30, 2015 Permalink

    My parents live in this subdivision and where this occured in next to a small aircraft airport. How is it legal to fly a drone that close to an airport?

  57. edward sageser
    4:34 pm July 30, 2015 Permalink

    I would shoot it down to end of the story

  58. john morris
    5:29 pm July 30, 2015 Permalink


  59. Robert Linton Smith
    6:35 pm July 30, 2015 Permalink

    Blow it out of the sky!

  60. Drone Flyer
    3:16 am August 1, 2015 Permalink

    You do not own the airspace above your home. Shooting a firearm in a residential area is against the law. The redneck got what he deserved, and hopefully will have to pay for the property damage to the multirotor. The flight recorder will not lie and will log the path, times and altitude of the machine at all times. Just another dumb American with a gun. Perhaps he’d be best off shooting himself and saving us all a lot of grief.