Drone crashes near White House, man faces charges

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 09, 2015 2:40 PM

By John Clarke

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Washington man faces federal charges after crashing a drone near the White House in the nation's capital early Friday, federal authorities said.

Howard Solomon landed the drone illegally around 1:20 a.m. local time, across the street from the White House South Lawn outside the security gates, after launching it from the Washington Monument, U.S. Park Police spokeswoman Sergeant Anna Rose said.

U.S. Secret Service agents spotted the drone while it was in flight, police said.

Solomon was issued a criminal citation for illegally operating a drone, but was not arrested, Park Police said, adding he posed no threat.

He was charged under a federal law that prohibits the flying of unmanned aircraft, more commonly called drones, in the heavily regulated zone round Washington, D.C. police said.

Launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircrafts is prohibited in all areas administered by the National Park Service. Drones have been prohibited in Washington since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The incident is the third time this year that a drone has landed near the White House.

In May, authorities caught a man flying a drone in front of the White House. Another drone crashed onto the White House grounds in January, triggering a lockdown.

(Editing by Frank McGurty and Susan Heavey)