Man arrested by detectives after drone hits police helicopter
The FBI special agents have arrested a Hollywood man for allegedly operating a drone that crashed into a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter and forced an emergency landing two months ago.
The US attorney’s office said in a statement that Andrew Rene Hernandez, 22, has been arrested by FBI special agents on charges of carrying out unsafe operation of an unmanned aircraft.
The incident took place on September 18 when police officers were responding to a burglary call at a Hollywood pharmacy. The police helicopter was approaching the pharmacy when the pilot saw the drone and unsuccessfully attempted to evade it, according to the complaint.
After hitting the drone, the helicopter’s nose, antenna and bottom cowlings were damaged. The complaint further stated that the helicopter could have brought down if the drone had struck the main rotor.
Officers found parts of the drone on the ground and a vehicle that had been damaged as it fell from the sky. The drone’s camera and memory card led to the identification of Hernandez as the operator, the attorney’s office said.
It wasn’t immediately known if Hernandez has an attorney who could speak on his behalf. He was expected to make an initial federal court appearance Thursday afternoon, KTLA5 reported.