A Seattle Municipal Court jury convicted a man of reckless endangerment for losing control of his drone at the Gay Pride Parade in Seattle in 2015. The jury deliberated for approximately two hours and reached a unanimous verdict against defendant, Paul M. Skinner.
According to police reports, a 25-year-old woman was “knocked unconscious” by Skinner’s 2-pound drone that “crashed into a building and fell into the crowd” at the parade. The woman suffered a concussion when the drone struck her head, and a nearby man suffered a minor bruise from the drone’s fall. According to the court, “A person is guilty of reckless endangerment when he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another person.”
This is the first time that Seattle’s attorney general’s office charged someone with misuse of a drone in public. While a sentence has not yet been delivered, reckless endangerment carries a penalty of up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.