If you’ve seen the Godfather movies, you know there are risks in messing with the wrong people. Two strangers with a drone found this out the hard way when they flew their device near the rural Virginia property of actor Robert Duvall.
A local woman, Jennifer Youngman, did not like what the men were up to and — boom! — she shot the drone out of the air after a gust of wind brought it towards her property.
“They were going a little too fast and they went over my airspace. I had my .20-gauge there, so I put two 71/2 birdshot shells in it, and there you are,” Youngman told the Fauquier Times, which reported the story this weekend.
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Youngman and other local residents speculated the drone operators might be from The National Enquirer and had come to spy on Duvall, who played the lawyer Tom Hagen in the Godfather movies.
The men allegedly set up a card table near Duvall’s residence to launch the drone, and then scrammed after Youngman shot it down.
It will come as no surprise that isn’t the the first drone to meet such a fate in the U.S. Last year, a Kentucky man ended up in county jail after he blasted a device he said was spying on his daughters. Another such incident occurred in California.
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It’s unclear for now what the law is when it comes to taking action against drones hovering over private property. On one hand, some academics argue the law frowns against “self-help,” and shotgun owners can face mischief or vandalism charges if they open fire. But at least one academic argues that “robotic intrusions” pose a special kind of danger that justifies “violent self-help.”
In the Kentucky case, prosecutors dropped the criminal charges, though the drone owner is still pursuing civil charges in federal court.
So far, it does not appear any charges are in store for Youngman, who is glad to have chased the drone away from the property of Duvall, who she describes as a “really nice man.”
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If she has had any second thoughts, it is only in regard to the nuisance created by the drone debris.
“I have a bit of regret, I had small pieces of drone all over my pasture. It’s already given me two flat tires on my tractor,” she told the Fauquier Times.
Fortune could not immediately confirm the facts of the story, but Youngman repeated the account to Ars Technica, adding that she is an experienced skeet shooter.