Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
By Mark J. Burns
May 23, 2017

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Fans attending Sunday afternoon’s San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks game at Petco Park were met with a surprise and illegal aerial guest in the form of a GoPro Karma drone. The incident occurred despite new drone regulations being passed last month in order to improve safety for the area.

“Our Security Department became aware of yesterday’s incident and we have been in touch with the local authorities. We are continuing to monitor the situation. Drones are prohibited items at all of our ballparks,” according to a Major League Baseball spokesperson.

Added Padres Chief Operating Officer Erik Greupner in a statement: “Guest safety at Petco Park is a top priority for the Padres. Sunday’s drone incident was immediately addressed by Padres’ security and the San Diego Police Department to ensure the safety of our guests. This incident highlights the dangers posed by unauthorized drone use in proximity to large public venues like Petco Park. The Padres vocally supported the City of San Diego’s recently enacted ordinance that enables SDPD to enforce the FAA’s restrictions on operating drones near large public venues.

“We look forward to continuing to work with local authorities to ensure that this ordinance is enforced to the fullest extent possible.”

It’s still yet to be determined what or who caused the crash this weekend.

The Karma drone, which was identified by DroningON.co, narrowly missed hitting a few fans in the seventh inning before crashing into the back railing of Petco Park’s upper deck.

“Pretty sure the Russians have something to do with this,” one of the commentators can be heard saying as the drone hovered over the ballpark.

Interestingly enough, 2,500 Karma drones were recalled in 2016 following battery design issues, resulting in unexpected crashing. The Karma was then relaunched earlier this year.

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