Home / Connecticut Woman Given Slap on the Wrist for Violent Battery of Quadcopter Pilot

Connecticut Woman Given Slap on the Wrist for Violent Battery of Quadcopter Pilot

Two months ago, PINAC reported on the attack of a quadcopter pilot by a crazed woman named Andrea Mears, who punched, scratched and tore the shirt of teenager Austin Haughwout.

Despite committing a brutal assault, then lying to police, Mears received probation last month.

Mears accused Haughwout of “taking close ups of people in bikinis” with his quadcopter. The video from the camera of Haughwout’s quadcopter proved Mears’ allegation was completely false, as Haughwout was only taking landscape video of Hammonassett State Park in Madison, Connecticut.

While police initially believed Mears, Haughwout’s video saved him, and Mears was arrested for Assault in the 3rd Degree and Breach of Peace in the 2nd Degree. Mears faced up to a year and a half in jail and a $3,000 fine on the combined charges, but was granted a form probation which will erase the charges from her record after two years.

According to Forbes:

According to Haughwout, the police responded to the assault in 10 or more vehicles. They first listened to her story in which she claimed Haughwout assaulted her, that he “was taking close ups of people in bikinis” and that she had asked Haughwout to stop flying before calling the police, but he refused.

After hearing her side of the story, the police approached, clearly intending to arrest Haughwout. However, before they could place him under arrest he told the police that he recorded the entire incident. Haughwout stated, “I had video evidence that she went nuts completely unprovoked, and was the one that assaulted me.” He explained how he showed the police the video from his last flight “which proved that she lied when claiming that she asked me to stop flying before calling the police.” Haughwout provided copies of the videos to the police for their use in the case against her.

Haughwout does not believe Mears’ penalty is severe enough, and said he believed that if a man had assaulted a woman, the court penalty would have been more severe. “If a guy assaults a girl, he’d be sitting in jail waiting for his court date,” said Haughwout.

According to Forbes, Haughwout is still flying his quadcopter, but not as frequently, and always with his camera phone running.

Mears’ actions may have been a crazy outlier, but there are plenty of people who don’t know that in general,  it is perfectly legal to fly a “drone,” and aerial photography is not a crime.

For news tips on aerial photography and drones, contact Andrew Meyer, PINAC’s staff writer covering UAV photography, the First Amendment, and more. Follow him on twitter @theandrewmeyer.

About Andrew Meyer

For news tips on aerial photography and drones, contact Andrew Meyer, PINAC’s staff writer covering UAV photography, the First Amendment, and more. Follow him on twitter @theandrewmeyer, on Tsu @AndrewMeyer, and at TheAndrewMeyer.com.
  • Kirkus1964

    “Mears accused Haughwout of “taking close ups of people in bikinis” with his quadcopter” In any event, that would have been perfectly legal.

    • Elliott Whitlow

      True..

  • Jason Boushard

    I got two words for ya Civil Suit. Sue the fat bitch till she can’t afford her Haagen dazs.

    • Robobob

      yes, PLEASE tell me this guy is going to file in civil court. This crazed lunatic who attacked him needs to suffer for what she did.

      • Elliott Whitlow

        It doesn’t even have to be much money, just enough to make her defend herself and squeal..

    • Andre Maunsell

      http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5472709 yes he does intend to sue her.

  • Jon Altman

    What a nut case! Take her to civil court.

  • Pragmatic Liberaltarian

    As far as criminal assaults go, I would hardly call this one “brutal.” Lots of people get probation for similar assaults if they don’t have a criminal history. We already have too many people in jail, so I’m not troubled that we’re not putting another one there for this.

    • Falutin Free

      While you are right in that it wasn’t a brutal attack, he is still a minor. Also the fact that she tried to file false charges against him should not be brushed off.

      • Someone in LE

        She can’t “file false charges against him.” She doesn’t “file charges” the DA does. She can only ask the cop to cite him for something. As part of the investigation the officer determined who the aggressor was and arrested her. That’s how it is supposed to work.

        I could have been there and come up with all kinds of outlandish claims, that doesn’t mean the cops will cite someone based on the story.
        That is not “filing false charges.”

        Now if she had gone in to the police station and filed a false report that is a whole different ballgame.

        • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

          You may want to check that. In Connecticut, one only has to make the false report to the agency, it is not limited to an officer. Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 53a-180c (West)

        • Zank

          Bullshit. If he hadn’t had video proof the burden to prove his innocence would have been all on him. Fucking lying bitch.

        • Difdi

          He would have been arrested, his property confiscated, probably would have had to post bail he might not be able to afford to get out again, would have gained an arrest record. He might even have been convicted, despite not having broken any laws.

          All due to the lies of a crazy woman. Suffering financial harm due to an untrue statement is indeed something you can sue someone for and win.

        • jj McFadden

          The problem is that without video, she would have been believed and he would have been arrested. Too much lying from women these days about these kinds of things.

  • MSMediacritic

    Civil Court. Go to small claims, no lawyers allowed (in most states). She’s already been convicted, so it should be an easy case.

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/kilroy238 Kilroy238

    http://news.yahoo.com/video/drone-flying-over-beach-leads-220746773-cbs.html Is an interesting video that was done on this by Inside Edition.

    • Steve_Mart1n

      wow… she just keeps on lying, even in the face of video evidence…

      • https://www.youtube.com/user/kilroy238 Kilroy238

        Lol yeah amazing isn’t… Under the current flops we have she’d make a great cop or politician.

  • Z

    If he doesn’t believe the penalty is severe enough, he could always sue her in a civil suit. The existing criminal charges would pretty much prove his case for him.

    • Steve_Mart1n

      Good point and he should

      If the courts are not going to teach her not to do this type of thing, maybe a hit to her wallet will

      Seems like that is all people pay attention to nowadays anyways

    • Andre Maunsell

      http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5472709 looks like he didn’t think the penalty was enough.

  • marrowbonez

    No permanent damage was done to him except for the embarrassment of getting manhandled by a woman and whining like a bitch on film. I think the punishment fits the crime.

    • ED B

      So I guess it’s perfectly fine to beat your girlfriend/wife as long as you don’t leave a mark or any permanent damage? And, suppose he had taken a more aggressive approach to defend himself right as the police arrived. I do believe they would have left marks for sure.

      • marrowbonez

        No, he should take his hits from her and then press charges once police arrive. she was arrested, she had to get lawyers and pay court costs and how she is on probation. That is punishment is perfectly fine for what she did.

        • SmokeyBehr

          No it’s not. If it was a man hitting an underage girl flying a RC copter, he’d be in jail waiting on felony charges. Women scream equality until equality means they have to face the same consequences as men.

          • MasonBially

            I know plenty of women who will keep screaming equality even if it means this woman goes to jail*. Just like not all men are a group, not all women are a group.

            * Though to be fair they would much rather not talk about something so cut and dried stupid like this (with it’s relatively simple societal gender bias) and move onto the root issues causing the inequality.

    • Elliott Whitlow

      I think there is a pretty serious double standard here. Why should she not be treated the same as a man doing this to a woman? She committed a crime and got literally nothing as punishment.
      He could before, but now he needs to sue her, not for a lot, but enough to make her rethink assaulting someone in the future, enough to make her life difficult but not impossible.
      It needs to be clear that such behavior is not going to be tolerated and you WILL be punished.

      • marrowbonez

        Yes it is a double standard. But sorry, that’s the way it is, Otherwise, he should have just belted her in the mouth, but he didn’t because you don’t hit women. She did not get literally nothing as punishment. She was arrested booked, fingerprinted, probably spent some hours in a cell, got her arrest spattered all over the internet for her family friends and coworkers to see and if she commits a crime for the next 2 years, she will have to do time.

        • Edward

          Woman hits me, I hit her back. It’s that simple. I believe in full equality.

        • DesertRattt

          New Rules: You do hit women who hit you. It is best to have witnesses and video if you are a guy.

          I you want to be vengeful, hit the side of the nose. Its a disfiguring injury that is quite painful and cause a fair amount of bleeding. Works better than a civil suit in small cases.

  • byoung328

    She’s a crazy bitch, but the punishment fits. Having that on your record even for two years severely limits career opportunities, social life, etc. There’s still a possibility of jail time if she breaks the terms of her probation. Bottom line is she’ll likely never do it again. That should be the real goal of law enforcement and the courts. If the tables were turned though and he was charged they would have likely thrown him under the jail. I believe that’s why people are really upset about her punishment. It seems women often get the correct sentence, while men are destined to become property and free labor for the for-profit prison system.

    • n4zhg

      “men are destined to become property and free labor for the for-profit prison system”
      You misspelled “slaves”.

      • byoung328

        Nah, I just typed out the definition.

    • Elliott Whitlow

      I’d like to have seen some minimal jail time, 5-7 days and a fine of at least a $1000 dollars. She effectively got NO punishment so its hard to see this as much of a deterrent. Perhaps I’m wrong there but keeping her nose clear for a couple years doesn’t sound too hard..

      • http://excoplawstudent.wordpress.com/ ExCop-LawStudent

        Deferred adjudication or probation is just a slow ticket to jail. Probationers almost never obey all of the probation conditions.

  • Airene Smiler

    Americans certainly are a vengeful people. Yes she attacked him without provocation, but if she doesn’t have a previous criminal record it is cheaper and better to keep her out of jail. All jail does is punish those poor enough not to have good lawyers, and teach people how to be better criminals.

    • A Default

      I generally agree, putting people in jail should be a last resort. The double standard for men assaulting women v women assaulting men should be of concern.

    • inquisitor

      But if he was a minor, then she belongs in a cell for an extended stay…no matter the cost.

    • Steve_Mart1n

      This is not about vengeance, it’s about equal treatment.

      While I and I am sure most here, including the young man attacked, a valid point is made that if the roles had been reversed, that young man (even with no previous criminal record and so on) would be getting a MUCH stiffer sentence than she did.

      That is wrong and needs to change

      • MasonBially

        I think the point is that it should change such that they would have both get equal sentences, and that the sentence is closer to the one she got than the one he would have gotten.

    • Jerri

      Andrea, is that you? Did you set up a profile just to say that? Feigning being a foreigner to admonish americans for our vengeful inclinations. Tsk tsk. It’s called justice. The punishment should fit the crime. Jail time would be appropriate. It would send a strong message to other paranoid, controlling busybodies who have a predilection for physical violence.

  • inquisitor

    Lets me know that in a situation like this that I just quickly and discreetly snap her neck like a twig, open my pocket knife, carve a few defensive cuts onto my forearms and then plant the bloodied knife on her.

    Justice is served.

  • Ian Battles

    So if I attacked a teenage girl, I’d only get probation and have my record wiped clean?

  • R Clark Stewart

    She needs to go to a mental hospital.

  • Greekstudent

    american democracy

  • Chris Bray

    So now he can follow up with a civil suit.

  • Difdi

    There’s a reason why a man assaulting a woman is taken more seriously than a woman assaulting a man: upper body strength.

    Men tend to be a LOT stronger than women, such that a man punching a woman is considered to be assault with a deadly weapon in many places, while the reverse is not.

  • Jesse Smith

    Here’s her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ndrmears/photos

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