WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 (UPI) -- An employee of an obscure Defense Department intelligence agency has admitted flying a drone while drunk and being behind the White House crash, officials said.
The man called to report he was behind the security breach in the small hours of Monday morning, the Secret Service said. An agent patrolling the grounds heard and saw the 2-foot quad copter just after 3 a.m.
The Secret Service said the man reported he had been drinking with friends.com/2015/01/28/us/white-house-drone.html" target="_blank">nytimes in an apartment near the White House when he decided to give a friend's quad copter a spin. He sent friends texts immediately after the crash that he was afraid the quad copter, which costs hundreds of dollars, had gone down on the White House grounds but only learned when he woke in the morning that his fears were justified.
The man who was operating the drone "self-reported" himself after seeing news stories on the crash. While his employer, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, has a broad mission, officials said his job does not involve drones.
"Initial indications are that this incident occurred as a result of recreational use of the device," said Brian Leary, a Secret Service spokesman.
President Obama was thousands of miles away on an official visit to India at the time of the drone crash. He told CNN the incident shows the need for intelligent regulation of drones, citing their use in firefighting, wildlife protection and possibly soon to deliver packages to Amazon customers.
"The drone that landed in the White House you buy in Radio Shack," Obama said.
There have been a number of recent security breaches at the White House, including one where a man climbed a fence and got as far as the East Room before he was caught.