Connecticut teen of gun-firing drone video charged for assaulting police

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 23, 2015 6:02 PM

By Richard Weizel

MILFORD, Conn. (Reuters) - A Connecticut teenager who drew national attention this week for a viral Internet video showing a drone he had modified to fire a handgun was charged on Thursday with assaulting police officers in an unrelated incident.

Austin Haughwout, 18, was charged with refusing to obey police orders on Wednesday when he was summoned to the Clinton police station in connection with an incident that occurred Sunday night, when he drove away from officers trying to question him in a library parking lot, according to police and court officials.

When police attempted to arrest Haughwout on charges of interfering with an officer and failure to obey an officer's signal, he became violent and attempted to flee the police station, the Clinton Police Department said in a statement.

The Sunday incident that led to Haughwout's arrest was not related to the drone video, Clinton Police Sergeant Jeremiah Dunn said.

Haughwout on Thursday was charged with two counts of assault on a police officer and one count of interfering with an officer. He was released on a $20,000 bond.

Haughwout earlier this month posted a 14-second video to YouTube showing a four-propeller drone that he had modified to fire a semi-automatic handgun. Local police had said the video, posted on July 10, did not appear to break any local laws but the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident.

He also made national headlines last year when police charged a woman with assault after she confronted him about flying a drone at a state beach and intruding on her privacy. He recorded the encounter on his cell phone camera as the two engaged in a scuffle that resulted in charges against the woman, but not him.  

Haughwout could not be reached for comment. It was unknown if he had retained an attorney, a court clerk said Thursday.

(Editing by Scott Malone and Eric Walsh)