Connecticut woman charged with assault over ‘drone’ flight

Austin Haughwout, 17
Austin Haughwout, 17

MADISON, Conn. (WTNH) — A Westbrook woman is scheduled to return to court later this month after she was charged with assaulting a teen who was flying a remote controlled quad helicopter over Hammonasset Beach State Park.

Andrea Mears, 23, is charged with assault and breach of peace in the incident, which happened on May 12 at Hammonasset’s Middle Beach.

Mears had called police complaining about the helicopter flying over the beach taking pictures, police said. She later tracked down and confronted the teenaged pilot at the park.

The teen, Austin Haughwout, 17, of Clinton, recorded the altercation with Mears on his phone. The video shows a struggle, with Haughwout yelling out “you’re assaulting me.” The woman in the video replies by calling the teen “you little pervert.”


Haughwout called police and reported the assault. Mears also called police, again, and said he had assaulted her, according to a police report. In a post on a website for radio control enthusiasts, Haughwout, who goes by the user name ‘Hogwit’, described the incident from his point of view.

[Police] first listened to her story of lies (she claimed I was taking close ups of people in bikinis, and that she had asked me to stop flying before calling the police, and that I was the one that assaulted her, and and and). The police approached me very aggressively, believing her full story, and before anything else was said I brought up something that she missed… The fact that the cell phone in my hand has a camera…that was recording. I had video evidence that she went nuts completely unprovoked, and was the one that assaulted me. She was then charged with assault, and breach of peace….

Because he was under the age of 18, police also contacted the Department of Children and Families about the incident.

Mears is scheduled to be in court June 19.

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