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TGI Fridays' 'Mistletoe Drone' slices woman's nose

The drone operator says the aircraft spun out of control while attempting to land on a reporter's hand.

By Ben Hooper

NEW YORK, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- The ballyhooed "Mobile Mistletoe" drones launched by TGI Fridays have claimed their first victim, a New York photographer who lost the tip of her nose.

Georgine Benvenuto, a photographer for the Brooklyn Daily, told the newspaper one of the two mistletoe-toting drones at the Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, location spun out of control Dec. 4 and struck her in the nose.

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"It literally chipped off a tip of my nose," she said. "It took off part of my nose and cut me here, right under my chin."

"Thank god it didn't go anywhere under my eye -- that is my livelihood," Benvenuto said.

David Quiones, drone operator at the restaurant, said the small aircraft spun out of control during an attempt to land it on a Brooklyn Daily reporter's hand. He said the reporter flinched during the landing, sending the drone out of control toward the photographer's face.

Quiones said the incident will not bring an end to the Mobile Mistletoe program.

"If people get hurt, they're going to come regardless. People get hurt in airplanes, they still fly," Quiones said. "There is a risk involved -- anything flying, there is risk."

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Frances Karkosak, a spokeswoman for the restaurant chain, said there were no previous incidents during Mobile Mistletoe events in Long Island and Texas.

"We do not let consumers touch it," Karkosak said.

TGI Fridays said in promotional material for the event last week the aim was to inspire "mobile mistletoe mischief" with the camera-outfitted drones.

"If guests show a little love under the mistletoe, Fridays might just show them a little love with some nice holiday gifts," the chain said in promoting the event.

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