Local News

Woman Arrested After Confrontation Over Drone At Beach

Video report by Jeevan Vittal, Fox CT

Text by Kelly Glista and David Owens, Hartford Courant

MADISON — 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.

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.


11 Comments to “Woman Arrested After Confrontation Over Drone At Beach”

    scallywagy said:
    June 10, 2014 at 10:42 AM

     A woman viciously assaults a man and only comes to receive misdemeanor charges and women dare to cry sexism??- wtf …

    scotty5011 said:
    June 10, 2014 at 9:12 PM

    She is low class uneducated trash in my opinion. What lady acts that way?

    Austin said:
    June 11, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Based on the recommendations of many, I have set up a crowd-source funding page on IndieGoGo to raise money for a lawyer to bring a civil lawsuit against Andrea Mears. Here is a link to the IndieGoGo page: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/civil-lawsuit-… the same link is also available in the description of the 4 videos that relate to this incident on my YouTube channel, Hogwit.

      Dave said:
      June 11, 2014 at 12:36 PM

      $15,000 for a lawyer?

        marj413 said:
        June 11, 2014 at 2:16 PM

        No joke, why not just find one to take the case pro bono?

    marj413 said:
    June 11, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    What a nutjob, and she is married? I feel bad for whoever put a ring on her finger, poor guy. I hope she gets nailed with a felony assault but the sexist courts will probably give her a slap on the wrist. She needs to go to therapy for sure, who acts like that?

    Paul said:
    June 13, 2014 at 9:30 PM

    "As far as the legality of taking pictures on the beach, it seems to be a bit of a grey area." Really? A television news organization is unsure of the legality of filming in a public place? Hard to believe.

    alittlereality said:
    June 19, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    He was violating FAA regulations. Do your research, these quad copters are governed under the AMA. Their rules state operating remote aircraft is not to be done where injury to people or damage to property can be done. The camera in this respect is a mute point.

    If you really think the lady was out of line, well the juvenile operated his remote aircraft in violation of FAA rules. Too bad the local authorities are not up on the laws they say they enforce.

    Check out this link then you can profess to the world your view on whether you think this is safe operation of a remote aircraft. http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1

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