SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The Latest on suspect arrested for flying a drone over two NFL games (all times local):
A man charged with illegally flying a drone over two NFL games in Northern California to drop leaflets on the crowds tells a TV station he wanted to publicize his political beliefs.
In a brief interview with KGO-TV of San Francisco, Tracy Mapes says he has spent a decade trying to disseminate his message.
Neither the 55-year-old Mapes nor KGO discussed the Sacramento man’s political beliefs. Mapes did not respond to requests for an interview sent by email from The Associated Press.
Santa Clara police cited and released the 55-year-old after he allegedly attempted to drop political leaflets over NFL crowds attending San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders games on Sunday. Police said the leaflets criticized TV news media.
Authorities say they arrested Tracy Michael Mapes for allegedly flying a drone over two NFL games in Northern California Sunday.
Santa Clara police cited and released the 55-year-old Sacramento man after he allegedly attempted to drop political leaflets over NFL crowds attending San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders games.
Santa Clara Police Lt. Dan Moreno said federal and local laws prohibit drone flights near NFL games because of safety and security concerns. Moreno said authorities are considering adopting additional measures to prevent drone flights during NFL games, but declined to discuss details.
Moreno said Mapes was arrested in Oakland after authorities spotted a drone over that city’s stadium shortly after the Santa Clara flight.
Mapes didn’t respond to an email inquiry sent through Facebook Monday.
Authorities say a man was arrested after using a drone to drop anti-media leaflets over crowds at NFL games in Santa Clara and Oakland and that federal, state and local officials are investigating.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports the unidentified suspect on Sunday sent his drone over the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara during the second quarter of the game between the 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks. Later he piloted it over Oakland Coliseum during the Raiders game against the Denver Broncos.
Santa Clara Police Lt. Dan Moreno says the leaflets talked about free speech and his belief that television stations are corrupt.
Most of the drone-dropped leaflets were carried away by the wind, landing far from football.
It is illegal to fly a drone within five miles of an airport, and both Levi’s Stadium and the Coliseum are within five miles of airports.
Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com