We Are Change CT recently had an opportunity to meet & interview Austin Haughwout. Jeff Durkin asked him about an incident that took place on May 12, 2014 at Hammonasset State Park in Madison, Connecticut.
This was Austin’s statement about what happened shortly after the incident.
“I went to a nearby beach that is a whopping 2 miles long, set up, talked to some people that were curious what my “thing” was, demonstrated the loiter feature (pulling the quad to one direction or another), demonstrated rtl (flying it away then having it return), and make a lot of people think the quad was just awesome. I never went below 50 feet save for take off/landing, then after the end of my last flight, some crazy lady came over and started taking pictures of me…and dialed 911 for the 3rd time in 15 minutes…she said something to the effect of, “There’s a guy here taking pictures at the beach with a helicopter plane.” (I distinctly remember her saying, “with a helicopter plane,” because that just sounds hilarious.) They basically said that they’d send someone when one gets free during each of the 3 calls she made, she decided they didn’t care enough about someone obeying the law so when no one was around she assaulted me and she decided to stop when she got a phone call. I called the police to report the assault, and boy was the response big…10 or more vehicles arrived (cops, DEEP, and an ambulance)…They first listened to her story of lies (she claimed I was taking close ups of people in bikinis, and that she had asked me to stop flying before calling the police, and that I was the one that assaulted her, and and and). The police approached me very aggressively, believing her full story, and before anything else was said I brought up something that she missed… The fact that the cell phone in my hand has a camera…that was recording. I had video evidence that she went nuts completely unprovoked, and was the one that assaulted me. She was then charged with assault, and breach of peace and I gave the cops a copy of the video for their prosecution. I then also showed them my last flight where you can make out her colorful shirt getting up from the beach then following it until it lands which proved that she lied when claiming that she asked me to stop flying before calling the police.
At the end of it all, one of the officers said to me basically, “Flying that thing the way you were is fine, you’re not in any trouble. You can come back and fly, but just be aware that some people can be alarmed.”
Just a funny thing to add, last time I was there, a British guy had come up to me and said he thought it was a giant mosquito near him. He said that he first saw snake on a hike here in the States as they don’t have them in the UK, and thought giant mosquitoes were another animal they didn’t have.
Also sorry for an spelling or grammar mistakes and any totally illogical words, I typed this on a phone.”
Check out Austin’s YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/Hogwit