Episode 15: Student Crashes Drone At Kentucky Football Game (2015)
1:59PM Jan 18, 2023
Welcome to this curious media. This is that's a crime. I'm Jason Connell.
And I'm Sal Rodriguez.
All right, so we are back for a another crime.
Yeah. And just like we promise, we cover everything from a misdemeanor to a murder.
And we are light on misdemeanors. It turns out
they don't publicize many misdemeanors, apparently.
Now, so tonight, we're making good on that. And we have a misdemeanor in store. Whoa. Nice. I know. Well, we had some lighter crimes. Let's be clear. Coin thief. Yes. That was pretty light. The movie theater manager selling blow. I guess it's funny, but not misdemeanor?
No, no, no, no, because things can be light. But there's still a felony.
Right. And even Dana playdough. We really did a deep dive into her whole career, highlighting and spotlighting the video store robbery, but she did that with a gun. So although she really didn't get in that much trouble, it wasn't a misdemeanor,
right? You know, it's interesting when you look at misdemeanors to felonies. For example, UFC superstar John Jones recently arrested for spousal battery in Vegas. He went to Las Vegas, I think to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. And while he's there gets into a domestic dispute with his wife, Oh, no. hitting his wife is a misdemeanor. But somehow he damaged the police vehicle. He banged his own head on the car or punched the car felony hitting the car as a felony hitting his wife is a misdemeanor.
That sounds like something we should cover on. That's a crime.
Well, you know, yeah, everybody check out John Jones, UFC champ. I don't think he holds a title at the present moment. But I definitely a UFC superstar and has been into a whole battery of trouble over the years.
Wow. Well, pivoting to what we're doing tonight, we are going to be breaking down the True Crime Story of the student crashes drone at Kentucky football game in 2015.
Yeah, I've got a love hate thing with drones. I'll tell you that.
I cannot wait to hear. So I'm ready to jump in if you are sure I'm all set. All right. So on Saturday, September 5 2015, the Kentucky Wildcats football team was all set for its season opener against Louisiana. ragin Cajuns at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky. However, just prior to kick off a drone, which sow is an unmanned miniature helicopter, for those that don't know, I know that you know, this crashed into the last on the suite level of the south side of the stadium.
Sure. I've also had the I don't know if you call it pleasure, but privilege I guess, of going to military bases, and seeing actual military drones up close and personal. Wow. And these are playing sighs their planes that there's no there's no cockpit. There's no front windows, right? This is blank in the front. Interesting sight. So yeah, drones come in all shapes, sizes and levels.
This is not that drone.
For our listeners it thankfully, thankfully.
Right. So any thoughts so far? Before I keep going?
Yeah, I want to hear what this guy has to say about his his actions. I'm looking forward to what his defenses.
So now several of the sellout crowd of nearly 63,000 fans stood just below the crash site. But fortunately sound no one was injured. Yeah. However, this event did lead to a student being charged
with a misdemeanor crime. There we are misdemeanor there we have.
So already you know, I'm surprised I haven't seen this more often just the access the ability to get drones into this type of Stadium. But this could have been bad out of the gate sale. You got 60,000 people, a lot of them screaming many abbreviated. And here comes this drone that he loses control of I say he but I'm getting ahead of myself. Yes. And could have done anything to somebody. I mean, it's a projectile. Would it be lost control? It's going fast. It runs into glass and probably shatters. Whatever the drones down. This could have been bad.
Yeah. So it brings to mind the question, How did this happen? How did he lose control? I'm imagining he should be an experienced drone pilot. If you're willing to attempt a stuck? Yes, yeah. It's just what you're doing. And it's a misdemeanor at this point. But what if some of those people have been injured? Does it turn into a felony? If there's accidental injury?
I mean, what if, for instance, I've seen this in football games before where the ball is being kicked over the net like on a point after or a field goal. And I've seen people leap fans leap to catch a football going over the edge and wiping out what if someone jumped up trying to catch said drone and they got injured that way. Right. Who knows anything could have happened and this kid most likely would have been liable if not the university or whomever well moving on. They Guilty Party here was 24 year old law student. Yes, I said last year and Peyton Wilson sound you would have assumed he was more familiar
with the law. Yeah. Maybe he was a entertainment law or is there an animal rights law? Maybe some other law having nothing to do with drones or football
and criminal law? Yeah, exactly. Well, originally, Wilson faced a charge of second degree. wanton endangerment. Yeah. pleaded guilty to misdemeanor criminal trespassing and paid $100 Fine.
I'd say he got off. The easy.
I mean, I didn't even know there were fines that low. Exactly. $100. What was that was in Kentucky? Is that why it was? I don't know about that. I don't know. Is that like you're stating
the facts here. I don't know why, why it was reduced. Maybe his good behavior. But what I haven't shared yet is this. Because it could have been worse, as we talked about earlier. Yeah. But as part of the pregame festivities, an aircraft flew over the stadium. And I know you've seen this before when they have jets go. Oh, sure, sure. But in this instance, this aircraft flew over and let out for military parachuters. Right. So they're jumping all over the stadium to land bringing the game ball with them, which is kind of cool. Wow, a bunch of American flag. So yeah, this is like first game of the season. Kentucky Wildcats are going crazy. Although it's a basketball school. They also have a football program and it's getting better. So they're coming down. And as they're coming down. According to University Police. Yeah. One of the parish shooters, had to take emergency evasive maneuvers to avoid contact with the drone, that at one point in time was only 20 feet from his parachute. Well, now he also apparently had a very hard landing. But fortunately, again, was not injured. So this could have been catastrophic.
Well, hang on, Jason. I'm also wondering if it's entirely possible that this parachutist just had a rough landing and blamed the drone.
Yeah, that you weren't even there that the
drone was 50 yards away. We don't know what you're talking about, sir.
No, so this guy's already got the drone in there over the 67,000 student body here comes, you know, these parachuters coming down, and he's just kind of bird's eye view moving around. I mean, it could have been worse here. He could have obstructed the aircraft itself. Oh, yeah. I mean, there's a lot at play here.
Isn't there also something about radio signals themselves? I mean, you remember how they used to turn off our cell phones on the plane and all that stuff? Or airplane mode, but my point is, is that there's a lot at stake here, you have an actual object, hitting something, but then you have also signals? That can be
a problem. Yeah. Who knows? Well ask for Wilson's motives. His goal was actually to launch a drone photography company and sow, I'd venture to say this company probably never got off the ground.
Nice. It took me a second. But you know what, though? I bet you it could have taken off I mean, talk about we're in the era where no publicity is bad publicity. Any publicity. Imagine this guy, all the stations are probably tuned in or at least have some footage of this. And then they probably would go into an interview with this guy. So I would imagine that he could have used this use this publicity to actually help launch the company itself. If that
was his true, like goal in life. I think he was launching this thing. He's a law student. I think it was more shame what happened? I'm getting to that in just a second. So to me, it wasn't clear how they identified Wilson or how quickly they did so right. Here's a guy's in it. He attended the game and he's got his controllers. Is he on the outside? Is he in his car? I don't know. But I do know that Wilson fully cooperated with the police and made the following statement. It was an incredibly humbling experience to be subjected to both media criticism, and even my peers and colleagues. However, I would still venture to say drones are going to prove a very useful commodity. And Wilson also said that the judge did not return his damaged drone or the iPad, he used to pilot it. And so that said, I'd still say he got off super easy, but you can just tell from his comments that he was embarrassed, ashamed, pivoted away and didn't launch that company. But if that was a company that was already going and kind of prospering Yeah, you're right. This bad publicity could have been good publicity. Did you see the video I actually put a link in the notes you saw no, it didn't pre crash though. Pre crash. So you're just getting like, you're not even seeing the drone footage. You're seeing someone filming the drone over this big sea of students?
Yes. Well, you know, I gotta tell you, I really want to See the footage? Yeah, if there is any footage this doesn't say we don't have any information about the footage now, it only probably got no but you know what this goes into my love hate relationship with drones. I love drone footage. Drones can access areas. Yeah. Never before access. Yep. So I can appreciate good drone footage as a viewer. But try having a nice of romantic cliffside evening. overlooking the ocean. Yes. And there it is. There it is like a giant mosquito. Yeah. And a giant mosquito that's videotaping you. So it's a weird, giant mechanical mosquito. They are annoying as hell. And I've been to many wonderful locations and overlooks that have signs no drones allowed. They call it the no drone zone. So there are more and more legislation related to drones themselves. You know, for the recreational user, the military drones a whole nother story. But the recreational fan enthusiast. Yeah, you got to watch out where you run your drone.
Now you're right about that. I was actually at a cliffside watching some surfers near San Diego, my cousin told me to overlook this. And this guy was watching him and he sent out four drones. Now this isn't wasn't bothering anybody, but for drones over the water to capture this exclusive surfing footage, right? Yeah, he had a mark and he could just hover one there. Take another one low. That's professional level not bothering anybody that surfers are anticipating it right there be part of it. Yeah, it wasn't just like random guy getting footage of somebody. But I've also played soccer some places where all of a sudden there's a drone far above us. And it's a distraction. Like we're playing a game or practicing and like someone's just messing around. And you can't help but take it in because it is loud. It is disturbing. So yeah, but this guy, I can't even imagine doing this like, yeah, how good is he? Is he top top level he can trust himself to go in that environment and keep control. He could have really hurt somebody, multiple people. He's very fortunate. It just went down and didn't hurt anybody. But I don't know where he's at now in life if he's in the drone business or in the law business or neither.
He's a drone law. He works in the first.
Your own law. Yeah, call this guy.
No, but you know what? Jason, some of our listeners may know, I have done newspaper copy editing. Yeah, especially. And I always look at words, I look at word choices. I like his I wouldn't even call it an attempt at an apology. Right. And the operative word is, however,
however, however, I wasn't in the wrong. I just happened to crash. According to the FAA, Federal Aviation Administration, yes, there are regulations banned drone flights over NCAA football stadiums from one hour before until one hour after the game. So no matter what, he's in violation
there. Okay. So it becomes then a federal crime officially. And here's news to me. Now, federal crime can still be a misdemeanor, right? Yeah. If we're thinking it's federal, oh, boy, this has got to be a felony. This is huge. It's federal. No, he committed officially a federal crime. That was only a misdemeanor with $100. Fine,
while working with them immediately admitting he did. I mean, maybe that's it, they found the drone, they found the connection to him. But he didn't try to hide he didn't run from it. He probably said My bad. It got out of control. Sorry. You know, here's a student law student, they probably did ease up and not probably they obviously did. This could have been much more severe. You know, so it reminds me because I was reading this article. I remember watching the news several times in LA, and there were drone spotted around lax. Well, I don't know. Yeah, they were like, pilots were coming in saying, hey, there's, you know, there's a drone over here. And there was in the police chopper up to chase it and they could not find this particular person. So this person was going around and getting some bird's eye view. But in the line of commercial flights, I mean, that's not good.
Well, you know, drones, I understand have, well, I don't know about all drones. But some of these recreational drones or or video, drones have the capacity. It's a homing capacity. So as soon as it loses signal, it automatically goes back
to the other side, as opposed to just going down or whatever.
Yeah, and automatically, it loses signal, it goes back. I am just curious. How did they find the guy? Was he in the parking lot? Where was he? Because if all of a sudden the cops come over to you, Hey, were you operating a drone? Could he have been like, No, I'm not operating any drone? Yeah. Unless they see the controller in his hand. I mean, I would like to know how that arrest. Was there an arrest? Yeah, it was a misdemeanor. So there wasn't arrest, how that actually took place. How they found him and Where was he when he's operating the drone? I definitely would like
to know that. And as many cell phones were in that stadium 60,000 plus students there has to be more footage, you know, shooting the drone. Oh, there's the guy so there's probably all this like bad footage that we could probably sift through to find it but that is interesting. If I ever find out more maybe we can get to To the bottom of that, but there's one thing we haven't covered yet. Oh, yes. And that was the football game itself.
Oh, okay. Yeah, sure. What.
Once it finally got started, it was indeed a thriller Sal with a Wildcat scoring a touchdown with 57 seconds left to beat the ragin Cajuns. 40 to 33. Nice. A triumphant day in Kentucky. Okay. What could have been?
Wait a second, Jason, it just occurred to me. Do we know? Was this a student of the University of Kentucky?
Yes. And I should have made that clear. He was at University of Kentucky and the law program. So yes, he is. Okay. Okay. That's probably why they lightened up a little
bit. Yes. Okay. Had he been from Luke? ragin Cajun? Yeah. Would they have thrown the book at him?
Yeah, so that is the story that a student crashes drone at Kentucky football game 2015 It intrigues me because I think this is even timely now. I mean, this is six years old. But, you know, I'm surprised we're not seeing more this because drones are more accessible, they can probably do more, as you say, if you're out of reach, it's gonna come back to you. And, and I could see more mandates or regulations like this banning such events. You know, I mean, what is the Super Bowl? And like, 10 people have their drones up? I mean, what's restricting that from just the ban itself? Is someone else drowning the drones? You know, like, Are they are they putting their own up there and like seeking to do? I'm sure that's going on behind the scenes?
Well, you know, Jason, one of the first drone stories I read about once recreational drones started appearing at the sporting goods stores. A guy realized that his neighbor was sending a drone over his backyard to look at his daughter sunbathing. ello. Yeah. So that was one of the first cases I remember about,
Well, what did he do? Did he shoot it? Or did he go and talk to the neighbor? Well, I
don't know. I guess he called the police. And there was, I don't know if there was an arrest, but the you know, it made the news, there was some sort of domestic neighborhood issue about, you can't send your drone over to someone else's yard. I mean, I don't know what if they made any new laws after that. And I mean, is that officially illegal to fly your drone over someone's backyard? I mean, you know, when you have a new technology, you got to make new laws. So who knows what's on the books so far besides the college football games? Right, right.
Well, one time I came out to my car a few years ago, in Los Angeles, and there was a drone, it had crashed next to my car, and even that felt like a violation. And I was like, What do I do? It had an SD card in it, and I just took it inside took the SD card out, and it's like, what am I gonna do post something I found your drone. I just was like,
that was it. I disposed of said drone. But did you look at what was on the SD card?
I did not. I it was not that important to me. But they're just probably flying through the neighborhood could have been a realtor. And it just who knows it was not good technology. You know, they lose control. They literally lost control.
So or you could have seen some sunbathers? Maybe. Dang it. Where's that? Definitely. Hi, Jason. I must admit, I would like to own a nice drone. For beautiful landscapes. I'm not trying to irritate or amaze bystanders. But I would like to have a nice video drove myself I would say, hey, guess what, Jason? Christmas is right around the corner.
Okay. Thank you for the hint, the subtle hint. But that's all I got. So hope you enjoyed it. hope our listeners enjoy it. We're doing more misdemeanors, we're gonna load up on a few because it's so easy to fall in the murder trap, which we love. There's so many classic murders, and just darker crimes. But hey, if we see it a fun or at least lighter misdemeanor, we're gonna slip it in because our show it's a wide range. It's a wide range and that's a crime.
I enjoy the fact that there were no injuries. So exactly. Yes, it crashed. Yes, you had broken glass, all bad, but no injury. So very good. Yeah.
So anything else out before we sign off?
Christmas is right around the corner.
Got it. Copy that. So thank you so much for listening. And please be sure to subscribe to that's a crime wherever you get your podcast. You can also really help us by giving the show a five star rating on Apple podcast.
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