On March 4, 2012, the “Examiner.com” released a story written by Stephen Dean claiming that a ShadowHawk UAS operated by Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office recently crashed during a SWAT operation.
Despite granting an interview to Mr. Dean on March 2nd and providing substantial details on the actual event which took place in September 2011, Michael Buscher, CEO of Vanguard Defense Industries was grossly misquoted while large portions pertaining to the event were blatantly fabricated by Dean. This event was in no way part of a SWAT operation nor did the operator experience a loss of communication to the aircraft. Three Deputies of the Montgomery County Sheriffs Office and accompanying Lenco BearCat were present due to a photo shoot of another ShadowHawk UAS which was conducted earlier in the day. “This is a tremendous disappointment for us (Vanguard) given our excellent relationship with the media in general”, stated Vanguard’s CEO Michael Buscher. “We have always taken the time with reporters to discuss our products and educate about the industry and it’s unfortunate when an individual stoops to such an unprofessional level” said Buscher.
Vanguard management has discussed this article with Mr. Dean’s fulltime employer NBC’s Houston affiliate KPRC, and was advised that Mr.Dean was not permitted to run the story through the news station due to lack of sources and the dated nature of the event. Furthermore, Vanguard’s legal counsel has been in contact with NBC’s New York office as well as the “Examiner.com” to discuss the legal implications of the defamatory statements made by Dean.