Tesla says trespassing journalists drove jeep into Gigafactory security guards

By midian182
Oct 14, 2015
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  1. Tesla has accused two journalists from the Reno Gazette-Journal (RGJ) of trespassing on its Gigafactory grounds in Nevada last Friday. As the pair tried to make their escape, Tesla says they drove their Jeep into two members of staff and injured them.

    The Storey County, Nevada, Sheriff's Department arrested one of the RGJ employees, photographer Andy Barron, for two counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon. The department will also charge both the journalists with trespassing.

    According to a blog post from Tesla, one of the safety managers at the Gigafactory site – which is still under construction – was responding to reports that two journalists were trespassing on the property. The manager asked the pair for their names but they refused to identify themselves, even though they were wearing RGJ press badges and their jeep clearly had RGJ logos on the doors. The duo proceeded to deny that they were trespassing, despite the fact they had climbed through a fence sporting a ‘private property’ sign.

    The blog goes on to say that the three people went back to the journalists' jeep where they were joined by another safety manager and asked to wait until the sheriff’s department arrived. As one of the safety staff tried to record the license plate off the rear bumper of the car, Barron is alleged to have put the jeep into reverse and accelerated, knocking the Tesla employee over.

    Tesla says that as the two journalists attempted to escape the scene, their jeep struck an ATV that carried the two safety managers. When one of them dismounted the ATV and approached the vehicle, the jeep driver drove straight at him, striking him in the waist.

    According to the Reno Gazette-Journal’s own report of the incident, "the newspaper’s vehicle was damaged in the altercation. A rock had been used to shatter the driver’s-side window and the driver’s-side seat belt had been cut in half.” Barron was arrested following an on-the-scene investigation by police.

    Tesla wrote that persistent trespassing onto its Gigafactory site, often by RGJ employees, is illegal, dangerous and needs to stop. It has promised to work with law enforcement to investigate the incident and bring those responsible to justice. A representative for the Storey County Sheriff's Office said that Barron, who has worked for RGJ since 1998, was held on $30,000 bail and is no longer in custody.

    Permalink to story.

  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,114   +1,378

    As much as we would like to fool ourselves with the idea that journalists are the good guys, one look at the paparazzi, and you say nuh, not a chance, whatta bunch of vultures...
  3. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,142   +483

    I second this.
    VitalyT likes this.
  4. OneSpeed

    OneSpeed TS Addict Posts: 245   +69

    Probably moonlighting for another company that wants to compete with Tesla. (Conspiracy theorist)
    treetops likes this.
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    If I were Tesla, I'd use them to set an example. Any journalist that becomes the target for journalism has gone too far.
    VitalyT and dms96960 like this.
  6. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Maniac Posts: 475   +153

    I can't see them passing for good guys, what they did could pass for madness. Their chain of actions was simply stupid and non-sense.
  7. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 6,341   +1,939

    What example would you use?
  8. RustyTech

    RustyTech TS Guru Posts: 819   +385

    I could understand jumping the fence to sneak in and take photos for a piece you're doing, but to deny who you are could just as easily mean getting shot dead! Also, running people over and causing property damage? Yeah...they will be getting in legal trouble; not to mention monetary compensation for those injured (and time lost off work). Oh boy! this gazette is going to be paying out the nose!!
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    And if I was Tesla, so would any other gazette that hires them.
  10. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 1,937   +157

    Well a lot of corps own news stations and one of those corps who owns a competing corp could have sent out these journalists for a "story". Maybe that's why they were so worried about being caught.
  11. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,600   +411

    This story definitely goes in the strange but true column. Crazy!

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