INTERVIEW: Drone owner responds to claims of privacy invasion

HILLVIEW, Ky. (WDRB) – The man flying the drone that was shot down Sunday -- creating nationwide headlines -- told his side of the story on Thursday.

David Boggs owns the drone and says he was the one flying on Sunday when Willie Merideth shot it down. Merideth cites his right to personal privacy as the reason he shot the drone down and claims the drone was hovering no more than 10 feet over his home.

“The bottom line is we didn't do it,” Boggs said in an interview with WDRB on Thursday, “We didn't hover, we didn't go down, we didn't do any of that. There's no way I'm going to fly below the trees the second day I owned it.”

Boggs says he bought the drone just a few days before it was shot down. He said he was planning on using it to shoot video of his kids riding motocross. He says Sunday was a practice session.

“There's no other explanation other than the truth,” Boggs said.

In video that Boggs claims shows the flight path an altitude of the drone, it shows the drone not dropping down to 10 feet.

"We are now 193 feet above the ground,” Boggs described as he showed us the flight path. “This area here is the world-famous drone slayer home, and this is a neighbor's home, and our friends live over here, and over here, and over here. You will see now that we did not go below this altitude -- we even went higher -- nor did we hover over their house to look in. And for sure didn't descend down to no 10 feet, or look under someone's canopy, or at somebody's daughter."

The track does show that the drone hovered for around 30 seconds near Merideth’s home but was at an altitude in excess of 200 feet.

Merideth says he shot the drone down with bird shot; an ammunition he says would not have caused enough damage to bring the drone down at an altitude of more than 200 feet.

“His claims are that the drone never got below 200 feet,” Merideth said on Thursday. “Number 8 bird shot is not going to take anything out at 200 feet.”

Boggs showed us the drone and said most of the damage didn’t happen because of the shot.

“The damage is not from the shell,” Boggs said. “It’s from the fall. When he shot, he hit one of the propellers.”

But the question remains, why was Boggs flying in the area in the first place?

“Number one, I was having fun with my friends and family,” Boggs answered. “Also my friend was in Vegas and he wanted me to fly over and get video of house.”

Boggs showed us a text message exchange he had on Sunday that backs up that story.

But Merideth stands by his claim that his privacy was being invaded.

“When someone is in the wrong they try and find a way to cover it up,” said Merideth of Boggs' claims.

Both Boggs and Merideth say they want to see the video that the drone captured but neither seems to know what happened to the memory card inside the drone that saved the video.

“The reason we don’t have the live footage is because when we got there where the drone was shot down and a neighbor had gone and retrieved it and the SD card was gone,” Boggs said. “We want that SD card.”

When asked, Merideth didn’t have an answer either.

“We have no idea where that's at,” he said.

Merideth is charged with wanton endangerment and criminal mischief for shooting down the drone and firing a weapon in a residential area. He is due in court again in September.

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