Quad Cities toddler hit in the face with drone, Bettendorf police investigating

Published: Jul. 27, 2018 at 5:49 PM CDT
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A freak accident leaves a Quad Cities toddler bleeding from the face and ends his day at the park with a trip to the emergency room.

"I'm just trying to take my kids to the park and have a normal day," Cassandra Roberts, Atticus' mother, said.

One-year-old Atticus was playing at Crow Creek Park in Bettendorf when a drone hit the swings he was on and smacked him in the face.

"You hear their drone swoop over to the swings," Roberts said. "It was a good sized drone and it had the four different propellers."

Roberts told police a group of four were flying the drone over the soccers field when it came down. She filed a police report after taking Atticus to the emergency room.

"I would think my kid falls off the playground before he gets hit with a drone," Roberts said.

The Bettendorf Police Chief said flying a drone in a city park is against city code and the persons responsible could be issued a citation for breaking city code, but they understand it was an accident.

"It was an accident. It was an accident but I can understand because it should not have happened," Roberts said. "He's pretty tough, but not tough enough for a drone."

Roberts said the group did come over and apologize but she did not get the persons information because she was worried about getting Atticus to the E.R. Bettendorf Police are asking anyone with information, including those involved, to call them.

The FAA has a number of regulations for anyone operating a drone, including registration requirements. According to the agencies website, you must be 16-years-old to qualify for a remote pilot certificate, which is required for operating a drone. There are also regulations on what time of day you can operate a drone and weather-related criteria.

The maximum speed is 100 miles-per-hour. You currently cannot fly a small aircraft over anyone not directly participating in the operation.