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Drone in close call with New York police helicopter, two arrested

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two men accused of flying a drone so close to a New York police helicopter that it was forced off course to avoid crashing have been charged with reckless endangerment, police said on Tuesday.

The close call took place at 2,000 feet (610 meters) high in dark skies near the George Washington Bridge just after midnight on Monday, said Detective Annette Markowski.

The drone was "circling and heading toward an NYPD helicopter, which forced the officers to change course to avoid collision," Markowski said.

The drone got within 800 feet (244 meters) of the helicopter, which was operated by two police officers on routine patrol, she said.

Arrested and charged with first-degree reckless endangerment were Mendoza Wilkins, 34, and Castro Remy, 23, both of Manhattan, she said.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

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