Couple accuses neighbor of stalking with drone

Couple accuses neighbor of stalking with drone


Alison Morrow, KING 5 News

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — A Federal Way couple is calling police every few weeks because of a drone. They believe their neighbor is using it to stalk them.

“It could be two or three times a day,” Barbara Pintler said. “It’s a whirling sound like zzzzzzz.”

Pintler and her husband, Larry, reported their first sighting in March.

“A four propeller helicopter type drone with a camera slung underneath it,” Larry described.

The couple calls the drone a regular in the neighborhood air space, flown by a man who lives a few doors down.

“Invading my privacy, my family’s privacy,” Pintler said. “That shouldn’t be there. That person should not be out my window, looking in.”

Pintler says it’s gotten so bad, she’s filing a stalking order.

“This is documents we’ve had to put together,” she said.

But every time she calls police and the FAA, she says they all give the same answer.

“Their hands are tied up. They can’t do a thing,” said Pintler.

Federal Way police tell KING 5 there’s no crime.

If the drone’s flying in FAA allowed airspace, it may be annoying, but it’s not against the law.

“Good neighbors don’t normally spy on each other, irritate each other, bother each other, and just because you have the technology to do so, doesn’t make it right,” said Pintler.

And so now the neighbors are taking action.

“We’ve got our drone log with dates and times,” said Pintler.

They’ve got a drone call tree with names of witnesses, building a case just in case the rules about drones change.

KING 5 knocked on the alleged neighbor’s door for comment, but he did not answer.