A drone pilot who uses his device to help people find their missing dogs was beaten up following an altercation near Redruth. Experienced drone expert Mark Thomas regularly flies his devices in the local area and often uses them to help the emergency services and reunite owners with lost dogs.
Shortly after 5pm on October 11 Mr Thomas was flying the drone near Carn Lane in Carnkie when he was approached by a man who claimed the machine was spooking horses nearby.
An argument broke out and the other man punched Mr Thomas several times in the face and kicked him in the body. Mr Thomas sustained minor injuries as a result of the assault.
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Police are investigating the incident and are particularly keen to trace two walkers who may have seen it. One was a woman wearing a red jacket and the pair were walking along a road towards Piece.
Mark Thomas and his drone.
Shortly after the attack Mr Thomas posted a message on his Facebook page.
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He said: “Just to let you know that I am OK despite being swollen and in a fair bit of pain today. I am obviously very upset about the whole thing as I was just trying to help some people out that were in desperate need.
“As you are probably aware, I regularly encounter people with drone rage and I pride myself in being able to reverse the indoctrination that the media has implanted. I have to this day never been able to not turn someone’s opinions with my friendly, non-confrontational approach that I have honed in my 18 months of drone ownership.
“What happened yesterday was something totally beyond comprehension and utterly terrifying. I am now acutely aware that my hobby is a dangerous one to my own personal safety.
Mark Thomas, after helping firefighters extinguish a fire on Carn Brea Hill.
“I am aware of the laws associated with flying a drone and I always do everything correctly. What I encountered yesterday is an all too common occurrence; someone has their own interpretation of the law but in this case simply decided to violently assault me despite me not doing anything dangerous or illegal.
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“All the proper distances were carefully considered and are easily verified by my flight data. I currently have logged over 78 hours flying time and flown my drone over 715 miles during 568 flights, so I am in no way a novice.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police via email at [email protected] or by telephone on 101, quoting crime reference CR/072271/16.