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NJ Man Arrested After Crashing Drone Into Empire State Building

by Devin Coldewey /
The Empire State Building rises over Midtown Manhattan on Jan. 31, 2014 in New York City.John Moore / Getty Images, file

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A New Jersey man was arrested after a drone he was remotely piloting crashed into the Empire State Building. Authorities told NBC New York that the craft struck the 40th floor of the building, then fell to a landing on the 35th floor.

No one was hurt in the Thursday evening incident. The drone was flown by Sean Nivin Riddle, 28, of Jersey City, police said. A person with the same name posted on Twitter about the event shortly afterward, but before the arrest.

An NYPD representative confirmed that Riddle was charged with reckless endangerment and criminal mischief, saying that's the least one can expect from flying a drone in a heavily populated area, much less crashing it. This was an unusual case, though, he added.

"We see a lot of drones, but we don't get a lot of them crashing into major structures like the Empire State Building," the NYPD representative said.

Related: FAA: Drones Flown Around the Super Bowl Could Face 'Deadly Force'

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