They might or might not have been from the National Enquirer, but two men flying a drone over the home of Fauquier County resident and Hollywood icon Robert Duvall learned a quick lesson in country living when the drone drifted over the home of Duvall's neighbor, Jennifer Youngman, a few weeks ago.
“I was cleaning my .410 gauge and .20 gauge on my front porch when I noticed them,” she recalled of the mid-June incident.
Youngman has been neighbors with Duvall for a few years, after Duvall moved into his current residence. She describes him as a very nice gentleman who appreciates the quietness of Fauquier County.
A longtime county resident, Youngman said the intruding pair quickly brought attention to themselves when they exited their SUV, parked in front of Duvall's residence.
“I put two and two together. They set up a card table and began flying it across the field. The cows were being disturbed, and I thought these might have been some of the same people who have been run off in the past,” she said.
Youngman said a series of burglaries in the area a few years ago, coupled with sightseers, has caused an increase in neighborhood awareness, as well as action by Duvall's security team.
She said the pair appeared to lose control of the drone as the wind picked up, pushing the drone over her pasture.
“They were going a little too fast and they went over my airspace. I had my .20-gauge there, so I put two 71/2 birdshot shells in it, and there you are.”
Youngman said the men began yelling at her, but fled in a black Range Rover when she threatened to call the police.
“They were kinda mad, but they knew to not come on my property,” she said.
“I have a bit of regret, I had small pieces of drone all over my pasture. It's already given me two flat tires on my tractor,” she noted.
Youngman said the incident has caused quite a stir in the northern part of the county where she lives, with rumors flying about the identities of the men amid speculation they were reporters for the gossip weekly National Enquirer or paparazzi hoping to obtain a photo of Duvall.
“We've had quite a few laughs in the neighborhood,” she said about the incident.
“We have people around here all the time, and he's a really nice man,” she said of Duvall and those seeking to bask in his celebrity. “But you have to respect other people's property.”