Austin Haughwout, the 18-year-old college student who made national headlines earlier this month for his construction of an armed drone, is in the news again for allegedly assaulting police officers.
According to CBS2, Haughwout was arrested after a scuffle inside a police station in Clinton, Connecticut. The Clinton Police Department stated that the incident was not related to the current investigation of Haughwout’s armed drone, which is being reviewed by both local and federal authorities.
The teen, however, says otherwise.
“This is not the first time that the Clinton Police Department has harassed me and my family and I suspect that this incident is in reaction to my recent video about my multirotor project and also in response to litigation I currently have pending against them on unrelated matters,” Haughwout wrote online.
Earlier in July Haughwout posted a video of a quadcopter equipped with what appeared to be a Kel-Tec PMR-30 pistol. During the video, which you can see below, the drone fired off several rounds as it was operated remotely.
The video caused a flurry of activity online and drew the attention of federal agencies such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which said in a statement last week that it will be investigating whether the drone broke any laws. The Clinton Police Department, which also investigated the case, said there appeared to be no state laws against the operation of an armed drone.
Then, on July 19, Haughwout became involved in an altercation with police that would ultimately lead to his arrest days later. According to the teen, he had visited a public library to finish a school project and was returning home when he was stopped and questioned by law enforcement. During the encounter, which he recorded and uploaded to YouTube, Haughwout asked repeatedly if he was suspected of committing a crime. The officer stated that he was suspected of trespassing and possibly damaging the library, but let the teen go home. Several days later Haughwout was informed that there was a warrant out for his arrest.
You can see Haughwout’s recording of his July 19 encounter below. Video includes some adult language.
“I promptly reported to the police station and brought a GoPro camera with me,” the teen wrote. “I was told in the lobby that I could not bring it inside, and that either police would seize it, or to leave it in the lobby where they won’t accept responsibility if it is stolen. I then informed the officer that I would return it to my vehicle at which point I was thrown to the ground and had my head bashed against the wall and floor until I vomited and passed out. I woke up 45 minutes later in the hospital stripped naked and after being released, I was booked into jail on charges of assault of an officer and interfering with an officer.”
Police give a different version of the story and stated that Haughwout assaulted officers when he attempted to leave the station.
“Officers had to physically restrain Haughwout in the lobby of the station and eventually secured him in handcuffs,” Clinton Sgt. Jeremiah Dunn told the Clinton Patch. “During the altercation, Haughwout physically assaulted two officers by striking and kicking at them repeatedly. The officers sustained minor injuries but did not require immediate medical attention.”
The Hartford Courant reported that Haughwout has been charged with two counts of assault on a police officer and one count of interfering with an officer. The teen was arraigned on Thursday and released on a $12,500 bond.