Dubai: A Russian world and Europe champion for synchronised swimming landed in court on Monday for flying a drone that accidentally fell on a police car and damaged the side mirror.
The 23-year-old Russian athlete was on a three-day visit to Dubai when she was flying the drone near Dubai International Financial Centre and the incident happened on May 19.
The woman, who currently works as a synchronised swimming coach in Moscow, was believed to be enjoying her time when her battery charge died and she lost control over the drone.
The drone then accidentally fell down from a high altitude and, according to records, crashed on the side mirror of a police car.
Police officers confiscated the drone and took the Russian woman to the nearest police station where she had to deposit her passport in custody before she walked out on bail.
Prosecutors charged the 23-year-old woman of destroying police property.
The woman was present in the Dubai Misdemeanours Court but the presiding judge did not call her name.
Later it was discovered that the swimmer, who had represented Russia’s team in several international championships, had lodged an online request to have her hearing rescheduled at a date earlier to June 12 [Monday’s hearing]. When told by the court’s secretary that her case file had not been transferred from the Public Prosecution to the presiding judge to handle her case [on Monday] and that she had to wait for the upcoming hearing, the 23-year-old dashed into tears and sat back on a bench.
The suspect explained to the secretary that she came here for a three-day visit for leisure, before her holiday turned into a nightmare as she ran out of cash and her visa is about to expire in few days time.
Speaking to Gulf News, the 23-year-old woman said: “I cannot afford staying in a hotel where I have been staying since last month. I ran out of money and my passport is in custody [pending trial] and I cannot renew the visa that is about to expire soon. I came here to spend a three-day holiday and I have not been able to leave because of the trial … the incident happened accidentally as the battery died and the drone crashed down and broke. Currently, I coach synchronised swimming but if I am late for more time I will lose my job.”
Nikolay Lapkovskiy, an attaché at the Russian Consulate, accompanied the 23-year-old athlete in the courtroom to provide her with guidance and support.
The court reconvenes soon.