NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City police say some recent incidents involving wayward drones show that the popularity of the remote-controlled aircraft poses potential risks.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence John Miller told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Jim Smith, on Wednesday that police have seen five incidents of drones in the past six months.
“It’s a fairly new phenomenon,” Miller said. “This is a bit of a toy for people who have time on their hands and maybe too much money. But it’s a toy that you have to be very careful with.”
This week, two men were arrested on reckless endangerment charges after allegedly flying a drone too close to an NYPD helicopter near the George Washington Bridge. The aircraft was flying at an elevation of about 2,000 feet, police said.
“Flying at those altitudes has a high likelihood of interfering with or endangering civil aviation,” Miller said.
Police have also had incidents with drones over Times Square during Super Bowl festivities and near Citi Field.
Miller said none of the incidents was sinister. But he has suggested terrorists could be looking at drones as a tool in plots against the city.
Drone buffs say the doomsday scenarios are far-fetched. They say most pilots are tech junkies who use the drones to take aerial photos.
Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that there are city laws on the books to prosecute anyone who operates a drone inappropriately.
“It’s a common sense matter,” de Blasio said. “If you see an NYPD vehicle or NYPD helicopter, stay out of the way.”
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