Man who shot down drone pleads guilty to criminal mischief

A southern New Jersey man who shot down a drone flying above his neighborhood has pleaded guilty to criminal mischief.

Cape May County prosecutors will recommend that Russell Percenti receive probation when he’s sentenced April 29.

The 34-year-old Lower Township man was charged with criminal mischief and a weapons offense stemming from the September 2014 incident on the southern tip of New Jersey’s coast.

The drone’s owner has said he was taking aerial photos of a friend’s home under construction before he heard gunshots and lost control of the device. The man retrieved his damaged drone and notified police.

Percenti has said he was trying to protect his family’s privacy. He could have faced more than five years in prison if he was convicted on both counts.

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