Tesla Model S Third-Row Seats Lead To Odd Run In With Police – Video


It seems as though the optional third-row seats in the Tesla Model S may draw some unwanted attention from the police.

This video likely captured by a security camera located on the Model S owner’s home, shows us how those trunk-mounted seats might fool some concerned citizens into thinking something else is happening when children enter the car via the trunk.

Third-Row Seats Lead To Odd Run In With Police

Third-Row Seats Lead To Odd Run In With Police

(via YT uploader Henry Wettstein)

Categories: Tesla, Videos

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102 Comments on "Tesla Model S Third-Row Seats Lead To Odd Run In With Police – Video"

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Funny stuff. I am glad to see people looking out for the children.

After visiting the dog park, we sometimes manage a few errands with the dogs in the car. When I exit the car, my boxer likes to move into the driver seat. Once, while I was in the grocery store, my wife related to me that an officer leaving the store spotted my boxer in the front seat and approached the car. Without even a grin, he approached the dog in the driver seat and demanded to see his license and registration. Only upon my wife gasping in shock did the officer break into laughter.

What is wrong with people? Also why was it necessary to see his I.D.?

That’s routine practice to see license, registration and insurance. Sometimes police find out other issues at routine stops, like expired license or no registration. Stop for one crime, find many more. Makes their stop worthwhile.

There was no crime. The cop had acted like a complete fool so he needed to exert his authority to remind the citizen who was in charge.

Lucky for that Tesla owner that he was white. Had he been black there is a good chance the cops would have tazed him or worse.

Jack, you’re an idiot. It’s very obvious that you hate cops. So please take your cop-bashing crap somewhere else and let’s stick to the EV topic.

~back on topic~ It was only a matter of time before someone called police after seeing this. The first time I saw those seats I thought for sure people would freak out when they don’t know there’s seats back there. lol

Yes, being on topic, all the cops had to see was the safety jumpseats in the trunk and that had to be the end of it. No laws violated.

But NOOOOO…. they have to do more….

Ya, it’s called their job. Stop being a cop-hater…..oh wait…..it’s trendy to hate cops lately.

>>Moving on>>

Actually, it’s trendy to point out when cops are being *****. The cop that demanded identification when there was OBVIOUSLY no infraction was a ****.

If the Tesla owner was black, they would’ve wrestled him to the ground and put their knees on his neck.

Actually police have to fill out reports on every stop they make. The information for the report probably included who, where and when the stop was about.

Come on guys he has a basic job to do. I guess none of you guys have to do status reports.

Don’t confuse folks with facts and information.

Their job was to ensure the safety of the child. Once that was established and it was clear no laws were broken, the rest was unnecessary hassling the father.

I agree. Cops are being bullying busybodies these days.

If Jack is an idiot, it is not because he is objecting to the way the police handle this incident. Clearly, no crime occurred. As a result, the police had no probable cause to take any action regarding this driver. One could make the argument that if it was a legitimate stop, you could make a request to see license and registration information. However, in this case, where it is absolutely clear upon inspection that the seats were legitimate parts of the “trunk”, there was no such justification.

Having said that, however, there is no reason why the police can’t ask for this “information. The differences between can they ask for it” versus “can they order it” are subtle. In most instances, the average citizen would treat a request the same as an order when it is coming from a police officer. That is the rub.

CB- That’s correct. If the driver wasn’t sure if he was being given an order, the driver could have asked the magic question:

“Thank you officer. Am I being detained, or am I free to go?”

Jacked you’re right on. They approached him on his property for a non traffic violation. Personally I would not have volunteered my identification. No crime is being committed, now let me and my family be.

If you watch the video, you can see he was operating his motor vehicle on a public road prior to pulling into his driveway. Where he was stopped means nothing.

You can’t do 100 miles an hour on your street, and then pull into your driveway and claim magical immunity just because you touched home base. It doesn’t work that way.

Actually it IS a traffic violation to drive around with children unseat-belted in your trunk. That is illegal. So yes, they were properly investigating a potential traffic violation.

Driving a motor vehicle on public roads isn’t a right in the United States. It is a privilege that is granted to you by the state through licensing.

A condition of your license is that you carry it with you at all times that you are operating a motor vehicle, and present your license as proof that you are currently licensed to operate your vehicle on public roads.

As long as there is legitimate cause for the officer to make the stop in the first place, you must present your license. Here the officer had a citizen complaint that he was legitimately investigating.

Well, that’s pretty dumb to be honest. In the UK you are not legally required to carry your license while behind the wheel; if the police need to see it, you’re given a 7-day period to produce it. It means that you can keep it stored safely away when you’re not using it.

Dumb or not, it’s the law.

If you decide to visit the US and drive on the wrong side of the road, you will also need to carry an International Driver’s Permit at all times, along with your UK driver’s license.

In Germany you just pay 10$ if you are caught without carrying your drivers license with you.

In America we are only free to carry guns, machine guns, hazy as and RPG’s because we are the land of the free. The rest needs license.

Well, I guess should’ve said “violation”, not crime. Till the cops know the kids were safe and not being abducted, they had to assume something is wrong. Many a times, cops stop a car for speeding or minor traffic violation, only to discover stolen cars and drugs involved. Or convicts with guns. You never know where you end up. That’s why the back up.
But sometimes they do overdo it, like when multiple back ups show up. Guess system is not the most efficient.

Multiple back-ups means a desperate man with a gun won’t try his luck. You have no idea who, with what, is driving the vehicle next to you – the cops don’t either. It may not look efficient when it’s just a grandmother driving Fido to the dog park. But it pays for itself the one time when some officer get’s to go home to his family, instead of the emergency room.

Well, Sir! I admit I’m no police expert. Guess they have their procedures to follow.

Oh, do shut up! MW

Funny how America is always touted as ‘land of the free’ and all that crap, when in truth you’re no more free than any democracy. In fact, you guys are LESS free than some.

Our local police are NOT allowed to request identification without reasonable grounds of suspicion. Our police also wouldn’t need to ask for ID to check a driver and vehicle status; its all on ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) and they can radio HQ for a database check any time.

I think it varies by location in the USA. For example, I was once waiting in my car for a client in a rural location on a private property just off of the road right-of-way. Someone driving by called the sheriff and reported me, thinking I was up to no good. The sheriff called another LEO (conservation officer) who drove up and asked me what I was doing. I explained and he said thanks and just left. The sheriff’s deputy down the road 1/2 mile also drove away. NO ID was asked for, and quite frankly, I don’t think I would have given it. The whole thing was just a big waste of everyones time and energy. Nanny State, terror, blah, blah, blah.

So you are sayign that you can drive around without a license?

No, you’re supposed to carry license and proof of valid insurance and registration. I was referring to whether or not they ask for it when questioned about “suspected” crime. It really depends on the circumstances, I guess.

I once had to go to court for not having copy of insurance with me for speeding warning citation. My fault there. I just had to show up and show valid certificate.

Nanny, My question was for Anti-myself.

Lol man….it’s funny to see you chat with anti-yourself. Even though I mostly think he is more right than you in his posts, I hope you find it ok and not offensive with his name.

Yep, he (or she) is my dark side ๐Ÿ™‚
It is an honor to see Anti-myself. I’m hoping to see Anti-ST2, Anti-ST3, Pro-ST(1,2,3,..) and so on. That only fortifies my own legacy ๐Ÿ™‚ So, in a way, I’m now responsible for their behavior. As long as they don’t use abusive language on this public forum, I feel flattered by their presence.

US police have the same data via laptop links. But, how do your local police match the data to the driver – without an ID?

There would me less criminals in the street if your cops had more rights. Less people would get robbed , killed and so on. More power to the cops, they are the good guys !

Those of you that hate the cops are probably bad guys that the cops have arrested once or twice and now you hate the cops. We that have kept us within the law LOVE the cops and wish them all the best !

In some municipalities, every stop must be documented, even if there is no citation issued.

Yeah, I don’t like it either.

Why are they making him show ID? So they can run for warrants, they pulled up to him, no crime is committed and they still run ID’s.

Well, in authoritarian countries you can be stopped at any time and asked for your papers … if you don’t have them bad things can happen.

Good thing that doesn’t happen here.

You don’t watch the news very often, do you?

They didn’t run his DL or plates, so likely they made
a “Contact Report”, wrote down the Name, address,
DL # and race…

Many jurisdictions require that because they are
under court order to report the race of all drivers they stop.

Cool to have sound on the security camera – but did he really brag about how expensive his car was ? Lol

Actually not. While it is legal to take pictures of anyone, it is not legal to record conversations without both parties being notified that the conversation is being recorded without a court order. It is considered as illegal wiretapping in the US.

Actually, it varies from state to state in the USA (it’s state law, not federal). For example, in Texas you only need one participant’s permission to record a conversation, and that can be you if you are a participant e.g., on a phone call.

Mart — There was no wire to “Tap”. State laws regarding recording phone calls and situations where there is a “reasonable expectation of privacy” typically do not apply to recording in public.

The Supreme Court has upheld rulings that as long as you don’t obstruct their work, it is ALWAYS legal to video tape the police while they conduct their official duties in public, including audio recording.


Two patrol cars responded to this call. I wonder how many real crimes, ranging from running red lights to burglary, were committed elsewhere in town during that time period.

Yeah sรปre! People died because of Tesla… How ridiculous can you get to bash Tesla?

He didn’t bash Tesla, he bashed the police for their response.

As far as two units responding: That’s normal in areas where policemen ride only one to a car. Every cop likes to have a backup when responding to a call. When you ride without a partner, it’s normal to call for a backup. You’ll note that there are only two policemen present in the video, altho there are two police cars, so my guess is that each had only one officer in it.

I, too, live in an area where cops usually ride only one to a car.

electric-car-insider.com, I’m sure if your child was potentially abducted, you’d want not only 2 cops showing up, you’d want every one of them to help get him/her back. There’s nothing wrong with 2 cops showing up.

As for redlight-runner and burglaries going on while this happened, you can’t compare those small driving offences and property crimes to someone’s well-being.

yes there is. it’s unnecessary to bring two vehicles. one police carrier with two cops driving it would have been plenty.

I love it when other countries tell us why our country is screwed up. LOL

Well, when it comes to crime matters, some other countries can point to numbers compared to ours. But it also appears from these responses that Americans live in a bubble where they have no idea how other countries with genuine experience with police states try to keep the police under restraint.

It’s as if we think “freedom” is a form of property threatened by a discrete enemy or criminal race, to be protected by paranoid police whose implicit role is to create a state of terror. Meaning, we’re better than you because the police are on our side against you, even if we’re all miserable and slaughtering each other on the streets.

Come to think of it, that also sounds exactly like our foreign policy.

You’ve to understand that the cop’s salary is much higher than cost of an additional police car. Normally, a single car patrols the roads and neighborhoods. But when they stop a car or get a call, they call for backup, just in case. Another patrol car nearby shows up. 99% cases, 1 is enough. But sometimes, there are guns and criminals involved.
In short, it is not as simple as we think.

Wow, for once I agree with “See Through”. (Hell just froze over?)

Yeah, the proper question isn’t why the city can afford a police car for every police officer; the question is why it can’t afford to put two officers into every car. It’s not because of too many police cars, it’s because of too few officers.

This is the basis of the debate over Community Policing, the idea that when cops stopped walking the streets and were put in their big cruisers solo to cover more ground with fewer officers, they began to look like occupation troops rather than members of the community. The mayor of Hartford said that his police force had too many “suburban adventurers” in it. Cars caused suburbs and sprawl and created that need to cover more ground.

Yep, when See Through isn’t attempting to manipulate the stock market, they can be reasonable. ๐Ÿ™‚

You posted two complaints – when it seems like one would be plenty? Take the time to let the cops know sending one car is plenty. Certainly they’ll take your advice, and write that new policy up ASAP.

I can’t speak for everywhere, but here we have “one officer per vehicle” but when responding to any call, two officers must be onsite.

That’s my tax dollars at work.


If this had been a child abduction call, there would have been ten cars.

This was a “child in back probably not buckled up” call.

Routine traffic stop. Does that really take two patrol cars?

Yes. American cops have a siege mentality. Too many of us potential criminals and thugs (Or American citizens to everybody else) carry cellphone cameras and could make them desk officers.

Part of the problem is the Militarization of the Police. From handing out surplus military equipment to even small town police forces, to actually using US military tactical manuals for training SWAT teams, there is way too much military influence in our police forces.

Military style tactics and rules of engagement are a threat to civilians. Anybody with even basic understanding of the law should be able to clearly understand that these things that are fine on a battlefield against a declared foreign combatant, have no place in domestic policing.



I have observed lately that cops and their partners tend to have their own vehicle instead of driving together in one vehicle. I think it’s because they work in tandem when working speed traps and other traffic enforcement. Specifically, in the speed trap case, one will setup a speed trap and tag people with his radar/laser and radio his partner while the other pulls them over.

The CHP do this quite often, sometimes with two cruisers, sometimes with a cruiser and one of their Cessna’s (I usually see the Cessna’s in the rural areas though).

Having two police in one vehicle allows one to pursuit while another obtains information. It’s also less polluting and if a chase ensues it’s less risk to innocents to have one vehicle, not two, speeding around.

Ah, but didn’t you know that we humans are EXCELLENT multi-taskers?! Why else would posting on Facebook that your BFF Becky dumped her looser boyfriend while doing 90 down a two lane highway would be perfectly legal?! That’s why cops have their very own car! “What? Share a cruiser with my partner so he can make calls and take info down while I drive?! F**K THAT! I can multi-task that S@&t!”

But having 2 officers in every car also has the downside of cutting the police presence in the community in half.

Having the community see twice as many police cars in twice as many places (most of the time) is seen as a deterrent against crime.

The idea is that if you see the police often, that will deter you from committing crimes.

Whether that is true or not, that’s the logic of having single officers driving separate patrol cars while they patrol, who then respond in pairs when there is an incident.

All politics aside, I think it’s more a function of whether or not it’s a high crime area. In rural areas, with low population density, you’re very rarely gonna see two deputies or policemen in a police cruiser. Contrariwise, in densely populated urban areas, you’re rarely gonna see cops riding solo.

In high crime areas, police really want the comfort of not having to wait for a backup when they get out of their car. In low-crime areas, where a deputy or police officer spends most of his day sitting around not doing much, it’s hard to justify the expense of putting two cops into one car. For speed traps, the cop’s radar gun has what is called a “comic alarm”, supposedly because that way the cop can sit behind the wheel reading a comic book, and the alarm will alert him if a speeder passes by. It certainly doesn’t take two people to do that!

What we see in that video looks like a suburb, so I don’t find the one-cop-to-a-car situation to be surprising.

Good point. I’ve been lucky to live in very good neighborhoods like this most of my adult life, so I’ll have to defer on what it is like in bad ones.

US is a large country.

Anti-See Through probably lives in one of those EU countries where it is relatively small or countries such as Canada where the population is relatively small.

Either way, they are smaller. =)

what moron would call the cops on a Red Tesla?

if it was a some beater car it would be understandable but this car? hell no nothing suspect about it

Yeah, didn’t think Tesla owners had a reputation for human trafficking…

Right, because nobody in a Tesla could possibly be committing a crime.

It’s not the car, it’s the assumption by idiots that a crime has taken place. This is why SCOTUS ruled back in 2000 that anonymous tips alone are insufficient for reasonable suspicion. Thus the cop needs more to go on than someone calling 911 to have reason to make a stop.

I believe you are referring to Florida v. JL. where SCOTUS ruled that an anonymous tip lacking indicia of reliability does not justify a stop.

That ruling applies only to anonymous tips where the tipster does not identify who they are, or provide their contact information. There is no indication in this story that the person who called the police chose to remain anonymous. As long as they provided their name and contact information, then the 1968 Terry v. Ohio SCOTUS ruling applies, which definitely allows the officers to make a stop if they have an “indicia of reliability” that the information is coming from a known source, and not an anonymous one.

It would be a mistake to believe you cannot ever be stopped based upon any call to the police at any time, just because an anonymous call alone is not sufficient cause for a stop.

Several places in the law the word of known named sources are given more deference than anonymous sources. This stems out of the right of the accused to confront their accuser. This (somewhat) falls into the same category.

Just don’t let your kid ride in the frunk ๐Ÿ™‚

No, that would be frunky.

Why not? Not many people or the police know there’s a Frunk or space enough in it for a body or two. It’s a smugglers dream car! LOL!

Sheriff J W Pepper….

“By the powers INvested IN ME by *this parish*, I hereby do commandeer this vehicle and all those persons within! And that means YOU, smartass!”

People who care for the kids? Stupit denunciators. In the 80s we always were sitting in the trunk. It’s about security? So why don’t you wear helmets in the car? Head injuries are one of the most common reasons for deadly car accidents.

People always forget that driving is a privilege not a right. A Police Officer can always pull you over and ask for your License, Registration and proof of insurance. The reason he can is to check they are valid and not expired and the car is not stolen.


Why would the police need to ask for your registration? They can read it off the sodding plate.

Proof of registration links the VIN to the License Plate to the Owner. Viewing the license plate alone does not provide that linkage.

You are required to provide this proof independently of any record scan the officer might call in to verify your paperwork. Your paperwork is the primary document that you are required to carry with you and to present to prove your ownership.

You cannot simply rely upon an officer calling in your plates in order to satisfy your lawful duty to carry and present proof of registration.

Why does it need to be done in the first place? In this instance, no traffic violation occured. It’s only the “law and order” police state culture that warrants this kind of intrusion. Fear! Fear! Fear! We need your license and registration because 9/11, and terrism! GAWD Blass Murka!

LOL! ๐Ÿ™‚

The officer actually didn’t ask for proof of registration in this situation. He only asked for ID.

Well, that’s not entirely true. You are absolutely 100% correct that every single time an officer legitimately pulls you over, he has full authority to demand driver’s license, proof of insurance, proof or registration, and to run your license plates, check any license plate tags or emissions stickers, and check any VIN numbers that are in plain view. But the primary reason for the stop cannot be to simply randomly check if you have valid license, registration, insurance, and to check your VIN, etc to make sure you are in compliance. They actually have to have reasonable suspicion of some sort of violation to stop you in the first place. In this case they had a call from a citizen they were investigating of a violation of a seatbelt law at minimum, and of the potentially violation of other laws. So both the initial reason for contact was lawful, as was the request for a driver’s license. The officers also could have lawfully detained him while he produced proof of insurance, proof of registration, and detain him while they validated the VIN in the windshield, did a visual search through the windows of the vehicle, and ran the license plates.… Read more »

Thanks for the details.


“every single time an officer legitimately pulls you over, he has full authority to demand driverโ€™s license…”

Assuming he had reasonable suspicion to make the stop in the first place. Per SCOTUS, anonymous tips from the public, without any further corroboration, is not grounds to justify a stop- which made this entire encounter voluntary.

There is nothing in this story to indicate that the call was anonymous. I believe you are also referring to Florida v. JL. That ruling does not apply when the 911 caller gives their name and contact information when they make a report to the police.

Like driving while black.

Definitely not a lawful cause for a stop, yet sadly (according to Justice Department statistics) a 31% higher chance of being pulled over.

Even worse, twice as likely to be searched, despite there being a lower rate of anything illegal being found in those searches when compared to all drivers.

Rear-facing seats are not novel. My mom owned an 8-passenger 1977 Buick Century wagon that my friends and I used for bar-hopping. The cargo section had fold up rear facing seats that accommodated 2 passengers. The cushions were thin, but otherwise not uncomfortable.



We took turns being the designated driver. Since the license plate prefix was BUZ, we used to call it the Buzz Wagon

Rear-facing seats in station wagons were uncommon, but perhaps not all that rare, a generation or two ago.

But not these days. Station wagons have pretty much gone out of style, replaced by SUVs and minivans.

Mercedes still offers them in E wagons.

I drove a guy from Africa he had just come to the U.S. a few months before and lived in Oklahoma. This is the story paraphrased:

‘One night I as driving home to my apartment and I saw many lights behind me flashing. A few miles later I made it to my building and many police cars came up and police pulled out guns. They said why did you not stop when you saw the lights? I said I did not know that. They laughed and said, when you see the flashing lights you must stop.’

He sort of smiled and said in my country we never stop for police since they only rob and beat us up.

Sounds like that person failed to qualify for safe driving in the US by NOT KNOWING THE LOCAL TRAFFIC REGULATION. =)

Yes, it also happened with one of my friend in Georgia (the state) about 20 years ago. A cop tried to pull him over for a broken tailight. He didn’t stop and thought that why didn’t they just go around him and there are plenty of lanes to the left of him….

Cop called for backups and helicopter on him to block him on the highway before he stopped. During the entire “chase”, he didn’t run away or sped up but just kept on driving at legal speed on the right lane. so the cops didn’t do anything because they thought he might be “suicidal”…

LOL. Yes, he only got a ticket to fix the tailight after all that. Amazing.

No, he isn’t African American. (and I am not trying to start a political debate).

Well, at least they didn’t shoot the driver and his kids.

…or their neighbors with a few errant bullets….

It looks like the cops are more amused and intrigued with the car than anything else. It looks like they are actually chuckling. As far as demanding ID. they probably just need complete information to properly fill out their report for the call/stop. Their attention appears to be fixated on the car rather than anything else.

+1 on what Garrity said.

Sometimes the police are unreasonable, excessive and abusive. This is not one of those cases.

Respect the police, know your rights, love or hate Tesla Motors and move on…