The following news release is from the Audrain County Sheriff’s Office.
On November 7, 2023, during the late-night hours, members of the Sheriff’s Office were assigned to the City of Vandalia for patrol while a scheduled city-wide power outage was taking place.
During that time, the Sheriff’s Office UAV Pilot was observing the area with our UAV that is equipped with Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR).
During one of his observation flights, our drone was “attacked” by another drone in an intentional attempt to cause a crash.
The Sheriff’s Office UAV Pilot was able to evade the drone and locate the other operator with the infrared camera.
The pilot was able to guide deputies to his location and he was arrested, and his drone and related equipment were seized.
The man was identified as Ryan D. Breden, 40, of Vandalia.
Breden was a subject who had been contacted by deputies out walking the streets at 1AM the night before during the scheduled power outage.
Breden was transported to the Audrain County Jail and was booked for Attempted First Degree Property Damage (Felony) and Obstructing Government Operations, and he remains there pending formal charging and release decisions from the courts.
Records of the incident will also be forwarded to Federal Aviation Administration for appropriate proceedings to commence for violations of Federal Law.