UK Law student charged for operating drone that crashed inside Commonwealth Stadium

University of Kentucky Police have charged a student with wanton endangerment for crashing a drone into Commonwealth Stadium just prior to kickoff Saturday at the UK vs. Louisiana Lafayette football game.
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - University of Kentucky Police have charged a law student for crashing a drone into Commonwealth Stadium just prior to kickoff Saturday at the UK vs. Louisiana Lafayette football game.

Peyton Wilson, 24, of Louisville was charged with second-degree wanton endangerment.

""That was pretty much based on the danger that it posed when it crashed into the stadium with several people below," UK Police Chief Joe Monroe said.

The first-year UK law student was cited, not arrested.

UK Police Chief Monroe says Wilson was piloting the drone in the parking lot as early as the tailgating event Saturday afternoon.

Monroe says the decision to charge Wilson was based on how close the drone came to one of the military parachutists skydiving into the stadium before the game.

"We hope that this will set a precedent that this will not be not be tolerated at the University of Kentucky in these venues without prior approval," Monroe said. "We're using this incident to evaluate what preventive measures we can actually increase to prevent this from happening again. One of the things we're doing is we're going to put in our parking lots signs that say this is a no drone fly zone."

Monroe says police have forwarded their findings to the FAA for further review of any additional violations or penalties.

Monroe says Wilson was operating the drone while standing outside the stadium when he crashed it into the suite level glass on the south side of the new Commonwealth Stadium. Several fans stood below, but no one was injured. The stadium was not damaged.

The drone was seen inside the bowl of Commonwealth Stadium during the pregame festivities, which included military parachutists skydiving into the stadium.

UK police received numerous videos and pictures from the public documenting the location of the drone within the stadium and the crash. On Friday, they released several new images and video of the incident.

One image clearly shows the drone near a skydiver who was parachuting on to the field carrying American flags before kickoff. Police say the parachutists had to take emergency evasive maneuvers to avoid contact with the drone, which was about 20 feet from his parachute.

The drone also was in airspace close to heliports at nearby UK Chandler Hospital and Baptist Hospital.

The FAA prohibits the operational use of any unmanned aircraft within three nautical miles up to and including an altitude of 3,000 feet of any stadium having a seating capacity of 30,000 or more commencing one hour prior to the start time of the event until one hour after the event concludes.

A spokesperson from UK has said the drone went down near the suite level in the southwest corner of the stadium.

Wilson is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 20.




 
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