[guest post by Dana]
After learning about the two sisters who violated the privacy of a woman texting her paramour while she sat next to her husband at a baseball game, here are a couple of stories about backyard privacy – or the lack thereof…
It all started when a Kentucky father took steps to protect his family’s privacy from a different kind of snooping. William Meredith shot down a drone that was hovering over his backyard where his daughter was sunbathing. He was then arrested first degree wanton endangerment and first degree criminal mischief for firing his gun off. The drone was not confiscated:
“Sunday afternoon, the kids – my girls – were out on the back deck, and the neighbors were out in their yard,” Merideth said. “And they come in and said, ‘Dad, there’s a drone out here, flying over everybody’s yard.'”
Merideth’s neighbors saw it too.
“It was just hovering above our house and it stayed for a few moments and then she finally waved and it took off,” said neighbor Kim VanMeter.
VanMeter has a 16-year-old daughter who lays out at their pool. She says a drone hovering with a camera is creepy and weird.
“I just think you should have privacy in your own backyard,” she said.
Merideth agrees and said he had to go see for himself.
“Well, I came out and it was down by the neighbor’s house, about 10 feet off the ground, looking under their canopy that they’ve got under their back yard,” Merideth said. “I went and got my shotgun and I said, ‘I’m not going to do anything unless it’s directly over my property.’”
That moment soon arrived, he said.
“Within a minute or so, here it came,” he said. “It was hovering over top of my property, and I shot it out of the sky.”
“I didn’t shoot across the road, I didn’t shoot across my neighbor’s fences, I shot directly into the air,” he added.
Merideth is defending himself:
“He didn’t just fly over,” he said. “If he had been moving and just kept moving, that would have been one thing — but when he come directly over our heads, and just hovered there, I felt like I had the right.”
“You know, when you’re in your own property, within a six-foot privacy fence, you have the expectation of privacy,” he said. “We don’t know if he was looking at the girls. We don’t know if he was looking for something to steal. To me, it was the same as trespassing.”
For now, Merideth says he’s planning on pursuing legal action against the owners of the drone.
“We’re not going to let it go,” he said. “I believe there are rules that need to be put into place and the situation needs to be addressed because everyone I’ve spoke to, including police, have said they would have done the same thing.”
Another question of backyard privacy occurred when police were called by an alarmed neighbor who witnessed his 81-year old neighbor behaving oddly in his own backyard:
An 81-year-old local man was arrested after police said he was spotted “humping” a bush in the buff.
Wallace Berg, of Russell Road, was charged with second-degree breach of peace and public indecency. He was released after posting a $10,000 bond.
Police said they received a call from a neighbor complaining that Berg was walking around his backyard with no clothes on. They said the neighbor took some video of Berg’s actions, which he later showed them.
After witnessing the bush incident, police said the neighbor told them he confronted Berg who, “stopped the indecent behavior, covered himself with a grill cover, apologized to him and then went into the house.”
Police said Berg had been standing in plain view of anyone who happened to be in the area at the time.