Drone Pilot Drops Propaganda Leaflets Near NFL Games, Is Later Arrested

Wisdom didn’t descend from above during Week 12 of the NFL season.

A drone operator tried to blanket Sunday’s Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers game at Levi’s Stadium and the Denver Broncos vs. Oakland Raiders game at Oakland Coliseum with anti-media leaflets, according to S.F. Gate’s J.K. Dineen. The man’s efforts largely were in vain, as the wind carried most of the leaflets away from the stands, but some fell into the waiting hands of police, who later arrested him.

“It was something about free speech and his belief that television stations are corrupt,” Santa Clara (Calif.) police lieutenant Dan Moreno said.

California law prohibits drones from flying within five miles of airports without authorization. Since Levi’s Stadium and Oakland Coliseum sit within that range and the man didn’t have permission to fly the drone in the areas for hobby purposes, police searched for and located the man, whom they haven’t publicly identified yet.

Moreno later explained why flying drones over sports events is generally a bad idea.

“If one of them were to crash, the blades are sharp — we certainly don’t want them hitting the crowd or the players,” he said. “It’s kind of up to the abilities of the drone operators, and there is no way of knowing if they know what they are doing. A stadium is not a good place to fly a drone.”

That makes perfect sense.

Thumbnail photo via Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports Images

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