Juvenile was operator of drone that flew over Fenway Park
The drone seen flying over the field during a Red Sox game at Fenway Park Thursday has been recovered by authorities, who said the operator was a juvenile.
The drone was identified and seized by authorities during an investigation involving Boston police, State Police, the Suffolk District Attorney’s office, and the FAA, according to a statement from Boston police on Saturday.
It was not immediately clear if the juvenile would be facing charges in connection with the incident. The investigation is ongoing, according to the statement.
Use of drones is banned in and around Fenway Park at all times, according to ballpark rules posted on the Red Sox website. Red Sox officials did not respond to a request for comment Saturday afternoon.
A drone manufacturer, DJI, said Thursday the device appeared to be one of their products, which they are able to remotely track in certain locations. A spokesman for the company, Adam Lisberg, said in a statement that the company was not involved in the incident but would assist police.
“Anybody should know that you should not be flying a drone over a stadium during a baseball game,” said Lisberg told the Globe Thursday. “It’s clearly illegal and stupid.”
Whoever was operating the drone “deliberately violated the FAA temporary flight restriction in place over the game,” he said in the statement.
According to FAA records, this was not the first time a drone has been reported at Fenway Park. In 2015, a person was arrested after a Red Sox security officer spotted a drone in the area of Van Ness Street near the park. The week before, multiple witnesses saw a white quadcopter rise above the right field roof at Fenway Park, but the FAA did not have any record of an arrest.
There have been drone incidents during Major League Baseball games in other parts of the country as well, including a drone that crashed in the stands San Diego Padres game in 2015, nearly hitting spectators.
A spokesman for Major League Baseball, Michael Teevan, said in an e-mail that the league is “monitoring” the Fenway incident.
In a statement on Twitter Friday, the FAA said it was investigating the Fenway Park incident, and noted that flying drones is prohibited within 3 nautical miles of ballparks one hour before and after games. Doing so is punishable by civil penalties up to $32,666, criminal fines up to $250,000, and imprisonment up to three years, the FAA said.
State Police said that with the Marathon coming Monday, their security operation “will include a capability to investigate unauthorized unmanned aerial systems (drones) will be available to us on Monday and will be utilized if needed.”