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D.A. To Pursue Criminal Charges Against Those Who Fly Drones Over Stadiums

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The Allegheny County District Attorney's Office on Tuesday laid out tougher penalties for people who fly drones near sports venues.

District Attorney Stephen Zappala said those who fly the machines into stadium areas during an event are committing a reckless act.

He said he will pursue criminal charges against them, including possession of an instrument of crime and risking a catastrophe.

"In the meantime, until the legislature has talked about this issue, anybody who makes a decision to put a drone in play at PNC or Heinz Field, you're going to have all kinds of problems," said Zappala. "Potential charges, possession of an instrument of crime, recklessly endangering another person, threat to use weapon of mass destruction, terrorism, causing a catastrophe, risking a catastrophe, criminal mischief, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct."

Pilots have also had many recent run-ins with drones.

According to the FAA, airline pilots have reported 700 incidents just this year alone. That's triple what was reported last year.

Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.

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