Heber family concerned about privacy after drone makes recurring visits

Posted at 9:49 PM, Sep 20, 2017

HEBER CITY - When Casey Savage saw the drone flying back over his house Tuesday night, he had enough.

"I went outside and got a BB gun and pointed it right at him," Savage said. "I didn't shoot. I just pointed it, and as soon as he saw the gun, he got out of there."

Savage said it all started about six months ago when he was in the backyard with his family.

"I heard some buzzing and didn't think anything of it," he said. "I look up and he's just hovering right around our backyard, and I'm like, 'Whatever, it's a drone and probably some neighborhood kid playing with it.'"

But Savage said it wasn't the only time he saw it.

"A third, fourth, fifth time, I'm like: 'Alright, someone is watching us for whatever reason,'" he said.

Savage said the drone would fly right up to the bedroom window, as close as six inches away. He said it was particularly unnerving for his terminally ill mother inside.

“My mom says we are the most innocent people in the world, why is someone looking through our window?"

Maybe the better question is, what can the family do about it?

Salt Lake City Attorney Greg Skordas says the drone laws are constantly changing as more and more problems develop over time.

“You can’t peer into people’s houses." Skordas said. "You can’t look at people doing something that they believe is private at the time."

Skordas said, simply put, it's an invasion of privacy.

However, getting into trespassing laws is a bit more complicated because at what point do you own the air space over your property? Federal Aviation Administration guidelines classify air space as anything above a blade of grass. Skordas said it's easiest to just call police.

"You can't take the law into your own hands," Skordas warns.

Instead, both law enforcement and Skordas encourage people to keep an eye on which direction the drone flies to after leaving your place. That way, police have the possibility of catching the pilot when the drone comes down.

For recreational pilots looking to understand the rules of where and when you can fly drones, visit the FAA online or download the"B4UFLY" app.