May 18, 2021


Beyond law

Guy pleads responsible to traveling drone that strike LAPD helicopter and pressured it to make crisis landing

A Hollywood guy pleaded guilty Thursday to unsafely operating a drone that strike a Los Angeles police helicopter and compelled it to make an emergency landing. Andrew Hernandez, 22, of Hollywood, entered a plea to a misdemeanor that carries a highest sentence of a 12 months in federal prison.

Authorities say it is the initially legal circumstance in the nation in which a man or woman has been billed with unsafely functioning a drone, CBS Los Angeles claimed.

In a plea settlement, Hernandez acknowledged that he launched the drone very last September out of curiosity as the helicopter flew towards a reported emergency at a pharmacy close to his household, according to a assertion from the U.S. attorney’s office environment.

An undated picture of Andrew Hernandez.

U.S. Attorney’s Business

The pilot experimented with to evade the drone but it struck and ruined the plane.

“If the drone had struck the helicopter’s principal rotor instead of the fuselage, it could have brought the helicopter down,” according to court files.

After hanging the chopper, the drone fell to the ground at an additional home close by to Hernandez’s household, the U.S. Attorney’s Office alleges. It also destroyed a vehicle, and items of it had been observed by LAPD officers around the pharmacy.

Investigators reviewed the drone’s camera and SD card to identify Hernandez as its owner, CBS Los Angeles documented.

In late October, FBI brokers raided Hernandez’s home, through which he admitted that on the morning of the incident, he had heard approaching sirens and decided to fly the drone “to see what was likely on,” prosecutors claimed.