Man charged for Space Needle drone crash on New Year’s Eve

(Information from: The Seattle Times,

SEATTLE (AP) — A 20-year-old Pasco man is accused of crashing a drone into the Space Needle’s roof while pyrotechnicians were prepping for the annual fireworks display last New Year’s Eve.

The Seattle Times reports that Cole Kelley was charged on Wednesday with reckless endangerment. The charge is a gross misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.

Space Needle spokesman Dave Mandapat said the drone did not damage the needle.

The crash was captured on video by the drone’s recording device.

The drone was turned over to Seattle police, who alerted the Federal Aviation Administration.

Police say Kelly violated the administration’s rules since he flew the drone above 400 feet (122 meters).