Man Indicted for Shooting Drone

August 25, 2015

Cape May Court House, New Jersey – Cape May County Prosecutor Robert L. Taylor announces that on August 25, 2015, a Cape May County Grand Jury returned an Indictment against Russell Percenti, a 33 year old male, for the charges of possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose, a crime of the 2nd degree and criminal mischief, a crime of the 4th degree.

The indictment stems the September 26, 2014 shooting down of a remote control helicopter, also known as a “drone”, that was in the flying in the vicinity of Mr. Percenti’s home located in the 1000 block of Seashore Road in the Erma section of Lower Township. The owner of the drone, Leonard Helbig, of the Villas, stated that it was being used to capture photographs of his friend’s house that was under construction.

While operating the drone, he heard numerous gunshots and simultaneously lost control of the drone. Upon retrieving the drone, he noticed it was damaged and called the Lower Township Police Department. The investigation resulted in the arrest of Mr. Percenti and the seizure of a shotgun.

Prosecutor Taylor advises that persons convicted of a 2nd degree crime can be sentenced to 5-10 years in State prison and 4th degree crimes carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison.