ST. JAMES, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A high-tech search for a missing dog led to gunfire on Long Island on Sunday.

Now, a man is under arrest, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.

Kato Ortiz of Port Jefferson did not give up the search for “Dezi,” an 18-month-old dog he had just placed in a new forever home, after taking care of the pup for about six months. The dog was found late Sunday night.

But while the pup was missing, there were some seriously stressful moments.

“This new home she was in two or three hours. Six hours maybe at tops,” Ortiz said. “My wife got a phone call. This girl is crying hysterical. ‘You gotta go out there. Dezi jumped the fence.'”

A new DJI Mavic Zoom drone flies during a product launch event at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Aug. 23, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Ortiz said Dezi disappeared from her new home in St. James on Thursday night. By Friday morning, Missing Angels dog rescue group in Suffolk County posted a call for help on social media. On Saturday, there were several sightings.

When Dezi was spotted in one neighborhood that is heavily wooded. Missing Angels immediately sent up the drone.

The group leader spoke to CBS2’s Sanchez by phone.

“So once we put the drone in the air within a few seconds Teddy had said that, um, he thought a bird had hit the drone,” Lynne Fodale said.

It turns out, according to police, 26-year-old Gerard Chasteen had fired three shotgun shots from the backyard of his home on Rutherford Street. One shot knocked the drone, a “Mavic 2 Zoom” model, out of the sky.

“I really think if he knew the purpose of that drone he wouldn’t have shot that,” Ortiz said. “I don’t think he did it intentionally. I think he felt threatened.”

Police didn’t find reason to ticket the drone operator, who was properly licensed, but did bust Chasteen for criminal mischief and weapons charges. Missing Angels said Chasteen’s family apologized.

“The family are dog lovers, so they came over to us in the end and said we have two dogs, ourselves. Our son didn’t know you were flying for a dog,” Fodale said.

Thankfully no one was hurt.

Comments (3)
  1. Jay Bee says:

    Don’t violate my airspace

    1. DroneMann says:

      US v. Causby, 328 US 256, 264 (1946). Thus was born the “enveloping atmosphere” rule, holding that a landowner owns as much of the airspace above his or her property to which he or she can reasonably use, and any invasion of that airspace is a trespass subject to damages. Likewise, that airspace above the “immediate reaches above the land” is part of the public domain, not subject to trespass.

      “If the landowner is to have full enjoyment of the land, he must have exclusive control of the immediate reaches of the enveloping atmosphere. Otherwise buildings could not be erected, trees could not be planted, and even fences could not be run. . . . The landowner owns at least as much of the space above the ground as he can occupy or use in connection with the land.”

      Many people misread the Causby decision because one of the jurists illustrated that in the case before them the aircraft were as low as 83 ft. But the Causby case was one of a fifth amendment taking of property and the decision did not specify any ownership of the airspace other than the quote above.

      The FAA has exclusive regulatory jurisdiction over flight from the ground up. What the Causby decision did say was that a property owner only owns the airspace above his property that he can reasonably use.

      In short, you do not “own” the airspace above your property where drones, helicopters or other aircraft may fly.

  2. DroneMann says:

    18 U.S. Code § 32 – Destruction of aircraft or aircraft facilities.
    The FAA considers these small personal drones and model aircraft as aircraft for enforcement purposes. Shoot one down or whack it with a broom and you are inviting federal charges.

Leave a Reply