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Teen Who Created Drone-Mounted Gun Arrested After Assaulting Cops

Austin Haughwout, who is well known to police, was arrested on charges unrelated to a video he released earlier this week of a drone that he designed to fire live ammunition.

by VICE News
Jul 24 2015, 7:55pm

Photo via Clinton Police

The Connecticut teen who posted video of a makeshift drone rigged with a semiautomatic handgun has been arrested for assaulting two officers on unrelated charges, according to police.

On Friday, the Hartford Courant reported 18-year-old Austin Haughwout of Clinton, Connecticut, has been charged with two counts of assault on a police officer and one count of interfering with an officer. Haughwout was reportedly released from detention after posting bail set at $12,500, court clerks told the paper.

Police said the arrest allegedly was not related to the gun-firing drone video, but the teen claims he has been "harassed" by authorities over the video. Authorities asked Haughwout on Wednesday to turn himself in for an incident with a police officer in a library parking lot Sunday, for which there was an arrest warrant.

Related: Feds Investigating Video Showing Drone-Mounted Gun Firing Live Rounds

It is not clear what crime, if any, occurred at the library, but according to the warrant, a police officer approached Haughwout while he was in his vehicle to check that nothing was amiss in the rear of the library, which was the scene of an earlier burglary, the warrant said.

The teen, who was known to the officer, attempted to drive out of the parking lot, but eventually pulled over when the police officer turned on his lights. The officer called for backup because the teen was known to have access to guns, the warrant said.

In video of the incident, Haughwout can be heard asking, "Do you suspect me of a crime?" to which the officer responds, "Yes, we do, we're making sure a crime has not been committed."

The teen responds, "That's illegal." The officer then claims Haughwout engaged cops in a pursuit.

Police said the officer eventually let him go out of fear he would ram the police car with his vehicle, hit an officer, or start another pursuit. The officers were told to pursue their charges — of failure to obey an officer's signal — with an arrest warrant.

When Haughwout arrived at the police station Wednesday around 8PM, he began arguing with an officer trying to arrest him, according to a police report. When more officers tried to stop him from leaving, the teen allegedly began yelling, flailing his arms, and trying to hit his head on the floor and a door, and refusing to stand up. Authorities found a GoPro camera on him and a cellphone hidden in his underwear, the report said.

Police said Haughwout hit and kicked at two officers "repeatedly."

In a statement Haughwout posted alongside a video on Youtube, the teen claimed he believed he had been "harassed" by police.

"This is not the first time that the Clinton Police Department has harassed me and my family, and I suspect that this incident is in reaction to my recent video about my multirotor project and also in response to litigation I currently have pending against them on unrelated matters," he said.

The video of the drone has been viewed more than 2.8 million times since it was posted July 10.

While police say it doesn't appear the teen violated any state laws with the drone, the FAA bans the careless or reckless operation of a model aircraft.

Haughwout is a mechanical engineering student and told ABC News the drone was just one of many projects he has undertaken.

The teen's father, Bret Haughwout, told WFSB-TV last week that a Central Connecticut State University professor helped his son create the device. The CCSU professor quickly denied it, saying he discouraged Haughwout when the student presented the idea.

Austin Haughwout previously flew into the media spotlight last year after a video surfaced showing a woman attacking him for flying a drone-mounted camera over the beach, calling him a pervert while ripping his shirt and hitting him.

The woman, Andrea Mears, 23, of Westbrook, was later charged with assault and breach of the peace.