TEACHER ARRESTED FOR CRASHING DRONE AT US OPEN TENNIS MATCH
(P1) A New York City teacher was ARRESTED early Friday for ALLEGEDLY crashing a drone into an empty section of seats during a second-round tennis match at the US Open, police said.
(P2) Daniel Verley, 26, faces charges of RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT and operating a drone in a New York City public park outside of the allowed area. He was found at a MARINA on the opposite side of Citi Field immediately following the incident.
(P3) Using drones to gather information or data — instead of just images — is catching on at several college football programs, and sports in general, even as the laws and rules ADDRESSING the use of drones remain MURKY.
(P4) A police department spokesman said Verley is a teacher at the Academy of Innovative Technology in Brooklyn. Calls for comment to the school and the Department of Education were not immediately returned Friday.
(P5) It wasn’t immediately clear whether Verley had an attorney who could comment on the charges on his behalf.
(P6) The drone buzzed over the court in Louis Armstrong Stadium on Thursday night before crashing into the seats. U.S. Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier said no one was injured.
(P7) The black device flew DIAGONALLY through the arena during the next-to-last game of a second-round match that 26th-SEEDED Flavia Pennetta of Italy won 6-1, 6-4 over Monica Niculescu of Romania.
(P8) Pennetta said she heard the drone fly by and was not sure what it was.
(P9) Her initial reaction, she said afterward, was that it might have been a bomb.
(P10) “A little bit scary, I have to say,” Pennetta said.
(P11) “With everything going on in the world … I thought, ‘OK, it’s over.’ That’s how things happen,” she said.
(P12) She said neither the chair UMPIRE nor tournament officials told her that it was, indeed, a drone.
(P13) It broke into pieces upon landing, and the match was only briefly interrupted between points while police and fire department personnel went to look at it.
(P14) “The chair umpire just wanted to wait for an OK from the police to be able to continue,” Pennetta said, “even if, truthfully, I don’t think even they knew what it was.”
(P15) She said her coach and physical therapist were sitting in the opposite end of the stadium from where the drone crashed and they told her later they were afraid, too.
(P16) “All of these [SECURITY MEASURES], and then it comes in from above,” Pennetta said.
(P17) The episode happened a little before 8:30 p.m., during the day’s last match in Louis Armstrong Stadium, which has a seating CAPACITY of about 10,000. Pennetta and Niculescu originally were scheduled to play on the much-smaller Court 17, but their match was moved because four earlier matches in Armstrong WRAPPED UP early.
(P18) “If there had been SPECTATORS, it would have hit them and done a lot of damage,” Pennetta said.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- A spectator was once killed by a drone crashing during a demonstration at a football stadium. Are drones getting too dangerous?
- Why do you think Flavia Pennetta immediately thought that the sound of a drone was a bomb?
- Why is there such a high level of concern about security at sporting events?
- Is tennis a sport that you play or enjoy to watch?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Security measure
- Wrap up