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Teenager’s video of gun-firing drone spurs investigation


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CLINTON, Conn. >> A teenager may be in trouble with federal aviation officials after posting online a video that shows shots being fired from a drone that had been rigged to carry a handgun.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday it was investigating whether 18-year-old Austin Haughwout, of Clinton, violated its regulations, which prohibit the careless or reckless operation of a model aircraft.

Haughwout’s father told WFSB-TV last week that his son created the drone with the help of a Central Connecticut State University professor. The 14-second video shows a four-propeller drone with a semiautomatic handgun strapped on top hovering as it fires four shots in a wooded area.

The FAA said it was working with Clinton police, who also are investigating. Haughwout did not immediately return telephone messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Haughwout made news last year when police charged a woman with assault after she confronted him about flying a drone at a state beach. Andrea Mears, of Westbrook, was sentenced to probation in July 2014. A video Haughwout posted showed Mears calling him a pervert, striking him and ripping his shirt. 

Haughwout said he had been using the remote-controlled drone, called a quadcopter, to get footage of the landscape from about 50 feet above the beach when Mears confronted him.

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