TGI Friday's 'mistletoe drone' injures photographer during promotion

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Woman gets struck by drone carrying mistletoe
Lucy Yang has the story.

A recent promotion aimed at spreading holiday cheer at a Brooklyn restaurant went horribly wrong.

It involved using a mistletoe-carrying drone to fly around inside the TGI Fridays, getting couples to kiss.

It was going well, until the drone ended up crashing into a woman's face.

The incident happened last Thursday at the Sheepshead Bay location in New York City, which hosted the promotional. If customers kissed under the mistletoe, they were given a gift card. Sounds innocent, right?

"It was obviously an accident waiting to happen," said Vanessa Ogle, of "It seemed dangerous and unwise to bring that into a restaurant."

Ogle says she and photographer Georgine Benvenuto were covering the event when the festive flight ended up crashing into the photographer's face and drawing blood.

"It seemed to cut a little bit of the nose off, because blood was gushing," Ogle said.

Ogle says the drone operator, who was not an employee of the restaurant, offered to land the drone on her hand. Except the stunt failed when she flinched.

Here is a TGI Friday's promotional video of how the drones are intended operate.

Tap here to view on News app.

In response, TGI Fridays issued this statement:

"Of course safety is our first priority, and we are sorry that this isolated incident occurred."

The photographer talked to Eyewitness News by phone, saying that during the ordeal, the drone was actually tangled in her hair and face.

She's not sure how her scabs will heal, but she is convinced TGI Fridays never should have brought the drone inside.