A Pescadero man was arrested following an altercation Sunday during which he fired his shotgun at a drone that he believed was illegally flying over his property, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.
The incident unfolded at about 4:50 p.m. in the 5000 block of Cloverdale Road, the sheriff’s office said. After opening fire on the drone, the suspect, identified as 42-year-old David Stariha, confronted the drone pilot, who was accompanied by two other adults and two juveniles, by allegedly pointing the shotgun at the group. During the dispute, he punched one of the adults, the sheriff’s office said.
The victims left the area and contacted the sheriff’s office, which used an interesting tactic to confront Stariha. Deputies used a Sheriff’s Office Drone to surveil the property for the suspect, who was then contacted via a vehicle PA system. Stariha surrendered without incident, the sheriff’s office said.
The sheriff’s office seized the shotgun and ammunition and Stariha was booked into the Maguire Correctional Facility on charges including willful discharge of a firearm into an inhabited dwelling or motor vehicle, assault and threatening a minor.
“Drones are becoming more and more prevalent in all areas of the County,” the sheriff’s office said. “If you have a question or concern about the use of a drone near your home, do not take matters into your own hands. Use a recording device to document the incident and contact your local Law Enforcement agency for assistance.Anyone who has information regarding this incident may call the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Anonymous Tip Line at 1-800-547-2700.”