Men accused of operating drone near NYC police chopper

An ariel view of the Manhattan skyline in New York, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
An ariel view of the Manhattan skyline in New York, Friday, June 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

NEW YORK (AP) — Police have arrested two people accused of operating a drone over the George Washington Bridge that came within 800 feet of a police helicopter.

They say the helicopter pilot spotted the small unmanned aircraft near the bridge at 12:21 a.m. Monday. The drone continued to circle the bridge, forcing the chopper to change course to avoid it.

The pilot notified the 34th Precinct after observing the drone land on a parked car.

When police arrived, they recovered two drones with remote controls.

Police arrested Wilkins Mendoza and Remy Castro, both of Manhattan, on reckless endangerment charges. Information about their lawyer wasn’t immediately available.

The Federal Aviation Administration hasn’t set standards for certifying the safety of civilian drones, and efforts to provide them regular access to U.S. skies face significant hurdles.

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