Friend feared Capitol gyrocopter pilot would get shot down
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - A friend of the Florida postal worker who piloted a gyrocopter onto the U.S. Capitol's lawn says he feared the man would get shot down.
Mike Shanahan was quoted by The Tampa Bay Times as saying that Doug Hughes called him Wednesday and said he was in the D.C. area and ready to take off. Shanahan said he feared law enforcement would open fire on the small aircraft emblazoned with the Postal Service logo, so he alerted the U.S. Secret Service.
Police arrested the 61-year-old Hughes on Wednesday afternoon. They say he steered his tiny aircraft onto the Capitol's West Lawn after flying through restricted airspace around the National Mall.
Hughes says on a website that he wanted to call attention to his belief that campaign finance laws are too weak and allow corruption.