2 Tri-State men accused of flying drones over Bengals, Reds games
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A federal grand jury has charged two Tri-State men in separate incidents alleging they illegally flew drones over Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds games, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.
U.S. Attorney Kenneth Parker says it’s alleged that Dailon Dabney, 24, of Cincinnati, illegally flew his drone into Paul Brown Stadium on Jan. 15 as the Bengals hosted an NFL playoff game and hovered over players and portions of the stadium crowd.
The U.S. Attorney says Dabney allegedly recorded the drone flight and posted the video to social media sites and YouTube.
Parker says Travis Lenhoff, 38, of Northern Kentucky, allegedly flew a drone into the restricted flight area of Great American Ballpark during Reds Opening Day festivities on April 12, 2022.
“This is a growing problem that poses a direct risk to the players and the individuals in the stands,” said the U.S. Attorney said.
“Even if the operator does not have an intent to harm, the operator could easily lose control and injure someone.
“Moreover, the sight of a drone flying overhead could lead to panic in a crowd.
“If you attend these events like Reds games and Bengals games - leave the drones at home.”
The news release from the U.S. Attorney’s office says any drone that weighs more than .55 pounds and less than 55 pounds must be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration.
Dabney’s and Lenhoff’s drones are not registered with the FAA and they do not have a remote pilot certification, according to the release.
Parker says each man is charged with operating an unregistered drone, which is a federal crime punishable by up to three years in prison.
Dabney is also charged with violating a temporary flight restriction punishable by up to one year in prison, Parker said.
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