The NYPD arrested a city teacher Thursday for crashing a drone into the stands at Louis Armstrong Stadium during a U.S. Open game. Daniel Verley, 26, was charged with reckless endangerment and using a drone in a New York City public park outside of approved area.
The drone hovered over the tennis court before smashing into an empty seating area, the United States Tennis Association reportedly said in a statement. No injuries were reported. The incident happened Thursday night when players Monica Niculescu, 27, of Romania, and Flavia Pennetta, 33, of Italy, were playing the second set of a second-round match.
Pennetta, who won the match 6-1, 6-4, said she heard a flying sound but was not sure it was a drone. She said that she thought it might have been a bomb.
“A little bit scary, I have to say,” Pennetta said, according to the Associated Press. “With everything going on in the world ... I thought, ‘OK, it’s over.’ That’s how things happen,” she added.
Pennetta said that the chair umpire and tournament authorities did not tell her it was a drone. "The chair umpire just wanted to wait for an OK from the police to be able to continue, even if, truthfully, I don't think even they knew what it was," Pennetta reportedly said.
The drone broke after landing and the match was interrupted for a short while as police and fire department authorities inspected it.