New Jersey HVAC business owner accused of using drone to taint local pools with damaging chemical: police

Authorities say the owner of a New Jersey heating and cooling business is facing charges after he allegedly used a drone to drop a damaging chemical into commercial and residential pools. 

Patrick Spina IV was taken into custody at his business, Comfort Solutions Heating and Cooling in Galloway Township, after investigators saw the suspicious drone in flight and followed it. 

A homeowner in nearby Absecon reported to police in mid-August that a drone hovered over their pool and dropped a chemical that turned the water an "alarming shade of green."

Police said several similar reports about a drone dropping a substance into pools soon followed, including an incident at the Quality Inn where the pool's concrete base sustained damage.

Authorities on Friday spotted the drone in-flight over the Quality Inn and tracked it back to Spina's business where he was "identified as the individual responsible for the ongoing incidents."

The chemical being dropped was identified as Sea Dye, which is most commonly used by sea rescue services. Police say the use of the chemical is illicit and caused damage to affected pools.

Spina, 45, is facing multiple counts of criminal mischief, according to police. He was released from custody on a summons pending further court proceedings.