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Drone pilot allegedly dumps green dye into residential, hotel pools

A chemical commonly used to assist rescue pilots was dumped into several New Jersey swimming pools, prompting a police investigation and an arrest.
Drone pilot allegedly dumps green dye into residential, hotel pools
Posted at 1:27 PM, Sep 08, 2023

Police in New Jersey say they arrested a man accused of using a drone to dump green pool dye in area swimming pools. 

Absecon Police arrested Patrick Spina IV earlier this month on multiple charges of criminal mischief. Investigators said Spina used a drone to dump Sea Dye into pools, which not only is illegal but also caused damage. 

The substance is commonly used by sea rescue services, police said. According to makers of Sea Dye, it is used to increase visibility for a rescue pilot to see.

"The bright green pattern on the water can be seen for a mile or more and lasts for 30 to 40 minutes," PRESTO DyeChem said. 

Officials did not say what kind of drone was used in the incident.

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Absecon Police said it received its first incident report on Aug. 13 from a homeowner who reported a drone hovering over their pool. The homeowner later noticed the pool became an "alarming shade of green." Police said other locations, including a Quality Inn, were also affected. Absecon Police said the Quality Inn's swimming pool sustained damage from the dye. 

Weeks later, investigators said they were able to track the drone in flight back to a heating and cooling business in Galloway Township, New Jersey. 

Police said when they arrived, they encountered Spina, who is the owner of the business. 

Officials said Spina posted bond as he awaits trial. 

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