Drone-flying teen, father appear in federal court for government - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Drone-flying teen, father appear in federal court for government showdown

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Austin Haughwout. (Clinton police photo) Austin Haughwout. (Clinton police photo)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

A teen in hot water for controversial drone videos appeared in federal court along with his father on Wednesday.

The issue is whether the Federal Aviation Administration can force Austin Haughwout, 19, of Clinton, and his father, Brent Haughwout, to give it information about the drones shown in their online videos.

Both have so far refused FAA subpoenas.

In the YouTube videos, the drones are seen using a flame thrower and firing a gun.

The hearing took place in New Haven federal court.

The attorney for the Haughwouts claim that the FAA is only subpoenaing them to find out more about the gun-mounted drone.

"They're applying regulations for airplanes to drones and that's the legal equivalent of duct tape and super glue. It's just inappropriate," said Attorney Mario Cerame.

In trying to determine if the drone violates any criminal statutes, the FAA subpoenaed the Haughwouts. They and their attorneys said the government is overstepping its authority.

Outside of court, the assistant U.S. attorney declined to comment, but in laying out his case, argued, the FAA, which regulates national airspace, just wants to be able to investigate and learn how the drone is used and how high it can go.

Austin Haughwout has made headlines several times in recent months.

He was most recently arrested on child porn charges.

Those came about while investigators were investigating another case of Austin Haughwout assaulting a Clinton police officer.

Austin Haughwout had his cell phone recording his confrontation in an attempt to claim excessive force was being used, according to investigators.

When police sent the phone to forensic scientists, they said images of children in an "obscene performance" were discovered.

Back in 2014 the teen got into a fight with a woman at Hammonasset State Park after filming her with his drone on the beach.

The judge hopes to make a ruling sometime next week.

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