A Lake Katrine man is facing a felony charge after, state troopers say, he flew a camera equipped drone close to examination room windows at a Town of Ulster Medical Facility. But David “Front Row Dave” Beesmer, who’s charged with second-degree unlawful surveillance, said in a Facebook post that the incident was a misunderstanding.
Beesmer was arrested around 8 p.m. on Tuesday when state police responded to a complaint at Mid-Hudson Medical Group, a new healthcare facility in Lake Katrine. Police say Beesmer flew the drone within 10 or 15 feet of windows at the facility. Some of the windows, cops said, were in exam rooms where patients and medical staff observed the drone outside and called police.
In a post on his Facebook page, Beesmer called the arrest the result of “a huge error in judgment” but denied that he was trying to spy on anybody. Beesmer said that he was taking his mother to an appointment at the practice and decided to use his drone to capture some video of the new building. According to Beesmer, after a short flight, he went inside the facility and told a receptionist that he had video of the exterior of the building. A short time later, Beesmer said, someone else expressed concern about privacy. Beesmer said he displayed the video to demonstrate that the footage did not show the interior of any rooms. A short video clip on the Facebook page shows the exterior of the building, but the tinted windows remain opaque.
“I understand that people inside were alarmed,” wrote Beesmer who added that he should have asked permission before shooting the video. “However as you can see from the footage I posted that there is no way that my camera can see through tinted windows.”