Man Detained in Hollywood After Drone Interferes With LAPD Helicopter: Officials

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A Los Angeles police department officer carries a drone after an incident in the Hollywood area on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. (Credit: OnScene)

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A man was detained Thursday evening in Hollywood after allegedly operating a drone that approached the flight path of a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter, officials said.

Officers from the LAPD’s Metro and Hollywood divisions, supported by an overhead police chopper, had been searching for a person for about 30 minutes when a drone was detected inside the search perimeter, according to LAPD Lt. Michael Ling.

The police pilot took “evasive action” to avoid the drone, though it never interfered with the circling police helicopter, the lieutenant said.

The LAPD then began tracking the drone until its operator was found, outside a Rite-Aid store in the 6100 block of Sunset Boulevard, and taken into custody, Ling said. Officers confiscated the unmanned aircraft and the video footage it had recorded.

The man, described as being in his 40s, told investigators that he had not seen the chopper. His name was not released.

As of Friday morning, he had not been arrested, police said. According to Ling, LAPD investigators were exploring the option of filing a “consideration” with the Los Angeles city attorney’s office, recommending that the drone operator be charged with interfering with police activity.

The person who was initially being sought at the time of the incident was never found, the lieutenant said. It was unclear why that person was wanted.

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