Man Crashes sUAS One-Third of the Way Up Empire State Building

A 27-year-old man from New Jersey was reportedly arrested last night for accidentally flying a small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) into the 40th floor of the 120-floor Empire State Building in New York City.

According to a Newsday report, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) says the sUAS, belonging to Sean Riddle of Jersey City, ended up situated on a 35th-floor landing after crashing. Riddle, the NYPD says, had been taking aerial photographs before the drone flew out of his control around 8 p.m.

Newsday, which also cites no reported injuries, says when Riddle asked security guards if he could retrieve his device, the NYPD was called in to arrest him for “reckless endangerment, misdemeanor criminal mischief and with violation of law.”

According to The Skyscraper Center – the Global Tall Building Database of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat – the Empire State Building, built in 1931, reaches 1,224 ft. at its occupied height and 1,454 ft. at the tip – making it the fifth-tallest building in the country.

Riddle, under the handle @SeanRiddle12, meanwhile, told Twitter the news as he was being held by security. As of press time, the Tweet still remains:


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