Drone Operator Arrested After Crashing Into the Empire State Building

Feb 5, 2016

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

Drone Operator Arrested After Crashing Into the Empire State Building

Feb 5, 2016

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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Empire-State-Building

Major cities and famous landmarks often make for awesome shots, and that’s probably what Sean Nivin Riddle was after when he went filming with his drone around New York City’s Empire State Building last night.

Unfortunately for the 27-year-old his drone crashed into the 40th floor of the skyscraper, leading to local and federal security forces swarming to the area and arresting him.

According to NBC New York, authorities haven’t mentioned the make or model of the drone but they have said that the “small drone” fell to a 35th floor landing.

While luckily nobody was injured, and investigators do not suspect the crash was intentional, Riddle was arrested at the scene and is likely to face criminal charges. ABC News reports he was charged with reckless endangerment.

Although originally from Kentucky, media reports say he lives in New Jersey and his social media accounts say he’s from Brooklyn, so Riddle should have been well aware of the sensitivity of flying an aircraft in the area. Not to mention the FAA’s guidelines, of course.

As one might expect, NBC says the crash brought a significant police and FBI response, as a precaution, but the drone operator was eventually questioned by officers at the Midtown South police precinct.

Riddle himself did not respond to requests from the media, but he tweeted at 1:45 AM saying “filming w/drone, now its stuck on the empire state building….w/security”

https://twitter.com/SeanRiddle12/status/695392728964681728?ref_src=twsrc^tfw

This is another crash in a growing list of high-profile drone incidents, involving the White House, Japan’s prime minister’s office and the White House once more.

Unlike SkyPan International, however, Riddle will not face a massive $1.9 million fine.

[via NBC New York | Lead image by Anthony Quintano]

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Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels

Liron Samuels is a wildlife and commercial photographer based in Israel. When he isn’t waking up at 4am to take photos of nature, he stays awake until 4am taking photos of the night skies or time lapses. You can see more of his work on his website or follow him on Facebook.

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7 responses to “Drone Operator Arrested After Crashing Into the Empire State Building”

  1. Shannon Avatar
    Shannon

    DUMB ASS.

  2. Cesar Sales Avatar
    Cesar Sales

    Doing his best to make his mistake into a pr moment!

  3. John Baemel Avatar
    John Baemel

    Dipshit….ruins it for the rest of us AMA people that face registering our scale rc models because these idiots fly believing the marketing people’s claims the drone practically flies itself…hey Sean, hope they hit you with a big fine and impound that thing!

    1. Sotirius Avatar
      Sotirius

      same as for the old formula of Jack3D was banned, because an idiot soldier decided to drink the whole package, and get a heart attack…

  4. Jason Avatar
    Jason

    ?RT Drone Operator Arrested After Crashing Into the Empire State Building – https://t.co/0F8SiqPRBw https://t.co/8zzseiLiba

  5. toby_toby Avatar
    toby_toby

    Flying a drone into the side of a skyscraper in New York is never going to end well, intentional or not.

  6. Ezzy Avatar
    Ezzy

    I love how this got blown up (again)…and no one corrects their news story. The dude had a sub-$100 quadcopter from Ionic. Lol. Real danger to pedestrians. Like one…if they don’t wear a hat.