A drone taken down by revelers outside the L.A. Kings' championship celebration Friday night is now in the custody of the Los Angeles Police Department, an LAPD official says.
The unmanned aerial vehicle was hovering above fans outside Staples Center following the Kings' 3-2 double-overtime Stanley Cup victory over the New York Rangers on Friday.
Some in the crowd apparently believed it was an LAPD drone keeping an eye on fans. It was not:
The department's Lorenzo Quezada says he took a look at the drone at the Central Division's evidence room, where it's being kept until someone claims it. It's a toy or hobbyist device about 12 to 16 inches wide.
And it's destroyed. All four propellers are broken and so is the landing gear, Quezada said. The device is also pretty much split in half, he said. He said a skateboarder might have attacked it with a deck after the drone was brought down Friday.
Members of the crowd outside Staples threw plastic bottles and T-shirts at the device as it hovered, and it was a T-shirt that apparently brought it down, Quezada said.
“An L.A. Kings T-shirt knocked it out of the sky … then a fan smashes it with a skateboard,” reads the narrative to a YouTube video (below) of the action.
As far as the unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to LAPD – no way, Quezada said.
First, LAPD's two drones have not been approved for use by the Police Commission. They're grounded. Second, those drones are professional models with eight propellers. They are 3 feet wide. (The folks who posted video of the device hovering outside Staples say it was a $700 or so DJI Phantom 2 drone).
See also: LAPD Now Has Drones
“It's definitely not ours,” Quezada told us. “It was one of those toy drones, not a high-quality one. This is for recreational use, one kids would fool around with at a park.”
Someone apparently attached their own camera to it, he said.
The drone, or what remains of it, is waiting to be claimed at LAPD's Central Division downtown. So far, Quezada said, there have been no takers.