Austin Haughwout, the 18-year-old who built the small drone capable of firing a handgun, was arrested this week and charged with assault and interfering with a police officer. The trouble didn't involve the drone, which was the focus of a viral video, but a physical altercation with police, officials told AFP.
Haughwout, a mechanical engineering student from Clinton, Connecticut, was apprehended Wednesday after police arrived at his home and asked him to turn himself in on an outstanding warrant, according to news reports that circulated late Thursday. Clinton police said Haughwout refused to submit to arrest and “repeatedly” kicked at two police officers. The arrest warrant wasn't based on the flying gun but a bizarre incident earlier in the week in which Haughwout refused to stop for police officers, then allegedly began chasing the police instead.
Haughwout has been the subject of a separate investigation from the Federal Aviation Administration since July 10, when he posted a 14 second video of his homemade quadcopter drone firing a semiautomatic gun in rural Connecticut. The video has been viewed millions of times in two weeks, attracting attention from international media outlets and raising new questions about how unmanned aerial vehicles should be regulated.
“We are attempting to determine if any laws have been violated at this point,” Clinton police chief Todd Lawrie told CNN. “It would seem to the average person, there should be something prohibiting a person from attaching a weapon to a drone. At this point, we can't find anything that's been violated.”