A business owner allegedly used a drone to drop green dye into swimming pools around a neighborhood and has been busted.
Patrick Spina IV, 45, is accused of dumping sea dye typically used by search and rescue teams into numerous pools in the Absecon area of New Jersey.
The general manager and operator of Quality Inn in Galloway Township saw their outdoor pool become a lime green color and she knew it was not due to algae.
‘I saw it totally green and I was like, “Oh wow what is going on?”‘ Sandra Woolstion told WPVI of the June incident.
‘So we saw a dye pack in the bottom of the pool and we didn’t know what it was.’
They cleaned the pool, only for it to be dyed green roughly a dozen more times this summer. The inn spent thousands of dollars in cleanup efforts and were forced to face upset guests.
‘The girls are standing here like, “Oh my God we want to go swim. Some of them were crying,”‘ Woolstion said. ‘I was like, “Are you kidding me?!” I myself cried. I went into my office and I had a meltdown.’
Last month, police received a call of a similar incident from a homeowner.
The resident ‘was enjoying time in his pool and saw a drone over top and the drone actually dropped something in his pool and it turned green immediately’, Absecon Police Chief James Laughlin told the TV station.
On Friday, a drone was seen flying over the inn again.
‘He was getting too happy with doing it,’ Woolstion told The New York Times.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) managed to track the drone back to a business near the White Horse Pike and arrested the owner, Spina.
Spina has been charged with multiple counts of criminal mischief. He has since been released on a summons.
An FAA spokesperson said that agency regulations ‘prohibit the unsafe or unauthorized operation of any aircraft’ and that it encourages members of the public ‘to report unauthorized drone operations to local law enforcement to help discourage this dangerous illegal activity’.
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