A California man was arrested Sunday for flying a drone over two NFL stadiums and attempting to drop anti-media pamphlets into the crowd.
Tracy Mapes, a 55-year-old Sacramento resident, was cited and released by Santa Clara police for flying the drone in violation of a local municipal code, department spokesperson Dan Moreno told USA TODAY Sports on Monday.
The drone appeared at Levi’s Stadium during the second quarter of the San Francisco 49ers’ 24-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks and was later seen over Oakland Coliseum, where the Oakland Raiders were playing the Denver Broncos.
Moreno said the message on the leaflets was “anti-local news media, and TV news stations specifically.” The charge was a misdemeanor, he said.
There is also an ongoing federal investigation and Mapes may face additional charges, according to Moreno, because the Federal Aviation Administration prohibits the flying of drones within five miles of an airport. Both Levi’s Stadium and Oakland Coliseum are within that range.
The San Francisco Chronicle added that the drone was a relatively ineffective messenger because “most of the drone-dropped leaflets were carried away by the wind.”