Trespassing Journalists At Tesla Gigafactory Run Down Two Employees With Jeep

OCT 13 2015 BY JAY COLE 56

Tesla Gigafactory Trespass In Nevada Ends In Photographer Charged With Battery With A Deadly Weapon (namely a Jeep)

Tesla Gigafactory Trespass In Nevada Ends In Photographer Charged With Battery With A Deadly Weapon (namely a Jeep)

Since Tesla selected Nevada as the site for their new Gigafactory, the place to go for the latest information on the project has been the Reno Gazette-Journal.  Today, they are making news surrounding that project for the wrong reasons.

Two employees and a company vehicle for the Gazette-Journal trespassed onto the Gigafactory property Friday morning, and that illegal action ultimately resulted in a couple Tesla employees being struck with a Jeep driven by one of the Gazette-Journal’s photographers while trying to flee from security.  Another journalist was also in the vehicle.

At Least Two Tesla Employees Hurt In Incident

At Least Two Tesla Employees Hurt In Incident

The Reno Gazette-Journal (somewhat ironically) reports that photographer Andy Barron, was booked Friday on a charge of battery with a deadly weapon according to Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro.

“He was arrested after an altercation with the security guards when they attempted to detain him for trespassing,” Antinoro said, while noting that Barron “either hit or almost hit one or more of the security officers.  They were stopped at that point in time and detained until my people got there and conducted an investigation that led to the arrest of whoever was driving the vehicle.”

Mr. Barron has been with RGJ for 17 years, and the news outfit also reports that its Jeep was indeed used during the trespass, and that it suffered a shattered window from a rock and that the driver’s side seatbelt had been cut.

Tesla says (full statement below) that one security person while attempting to record the license plate of the Jeep, was run down when that vehicle was put into reverse in an attempt to flee – causing a left hip injury and a 2″ cut on his right forearm and a 3″ laceration to his upper arm.

After striking the first employee, the Jeep then then struck an ATV carrying two Tesla safety managers. “When one of the safety managers dismounted the ATV and approached the Jeep, the driver of the Jeep accelerated into him, striking him in the waist.”

Reno Gazette-Journal’s Publisher John Maher made a brief statement on the incident.

“We take this situation very seriously and it is under investigation at this time,” Maher said.

UPDATE:  The Reno Gazette-Journal’s lawyer has now refuted the claims of what happened on October 9th after the trespass in a letter to Tesla, saying that it was Tesla’s security personnel who roughed up the journalists

Tesla Statement on the Friday, October 9th incident:

Journalists Trespass, Assault Tesla employees at the Gigafactory

Last Friday at approximately 11:50 am, a Tesla safety manager received a complaint about two trespassers taking pictures at the Gigafactory. The Tesla employee requested assistance and the Storey County Sheriff’s department was alerted. 

Pretty Remote Indeed

Pretty Remote Indeed

After locating the two trespassers, the Tesla employee approached them. He asked their names and notified them that they were trespassing on Tesla property. They refused to provide their names, despite the Reno Gazette Journal (“RGJ”) ID credentials hanging from their pockets. They also denied that they were trespassing even though they had climbed through a fence designated with “private property” signs.  

The vehicle belonging to the two trespassers was a Jeep marked with RGJ decals on both doors. The two individuals were later identified as RGJ employees.

The two RGJ employees and the Tesla employee were then met at the Jeep by a second safety manager at the Gigafactory. The two Gigafactory safety managers asked the RGJ employees to wait before departing, as security management and the Sheriff’s Department were en route to the scene. Disregarding this request, the RGJ employees entered the Jeep. As the Tesla employee attempted to record the license plate number on the rear bumper, the driver put it in reverse and accelerated into the Tesla employee, knocking him over, causing him to sustain a blow to the left hip, an approximate 2” bleeding laceration to his right forearm, a 3” bleeding laceration to his upper arm, and scrapes on both palms. 

As the RGJ employees fled the scene, their Jeep struck the ATV that carried the two safety managers. When one of the safety managers dismounted the ATV and approached the Jeep, the driver of the Jeep accelerated into him, striking him in the waist.

Once the Sheriff’s Department arrived on the scene, they arrested one of the RGJ employees for two counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon and advised that both will be charged with trespassing.

We appreciate the interest in the Gigafactory, but the repeated acts of trespassing, including by those working for the RGJ, is illegal, dangerous and needs to stop. In particular, we will not stand for assaults on our employees and are working with law enforcement to investigate this incident and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.

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56 Comments on "Trespassing Journalists At Tesla Gigafactory Run Down Two Employees With Jeep"

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Wow Jay,
That’s a crazy story!! What could they have possibly been doing or think they were finding as they were trespassing? How could it ever be worth it to flee security guards??
BTW, they should’ve had a Tesla.. probably could have sneaked away without anyone hearing them! Team them basterds!!

Maybe they were hoping to be shot at and have a big anti tesla article to write.

What was Tesla so afraid of? Why call police and try to confiscate items from journalists? Tesla lets so many drones fly over the factory. What is so special about a closer look? Are they hiding something inside these big buildings? Like, a lot of inventory cars?

I ask, because these aren’t newbie journalists. One has been working since 1990s. What are the odds of these experienced doing something nasty to start this whole chain of events?

See Through said:

“Are they hiding something inside these big buildings? Like, a lot of inventory cars?”

Gosh yes, that must be it. [/sarcasm]

Must you anti-Tesla trolls try to shoehorn everything into your conspiracy theory about Tesla having hidden “inventory” cars? It gets a bit tiresome after awhile… not to mention increasingly silly.

“What are the odds of these experienced doing something nasty to start this whole chain of events?”

Dear Mr. Clueless:

The purpose of the news media is to tell us about low-probability events… not to bore us with details of everyday “Dog Bites Man” occurrences.

Great jumping horny toads!

cody said:

“That’s a crazy story!! What could they have possibly been doing or think they were finding as they were trespassing? How could it ever be worth it to flee security guards??”

That’s almost word for word what I was gonna post. What were they thinking they’d get pictures of, even if they’d been allowed to wander around and poke into anything they wanted? Paparazzi Photos of drywall being installed? An “expose” of how the electricians are installing wiring? Maybe, at most, a photo of a topless robot? 😉

For heaven’s sake, this is a battery factory under construction, not Area 51!

LOL Yours was funnier!! As they say “Great minds think alike” to which I add “so what the hell were we thinking?!”

JournalistGate. 😉

JournalistFence?

I mean, what is the point of trespassing? What do they expect to find there? A large factory under construction without much stuff inside beside construction materials?

Is it really worth the trouble just for few pictures?

What a surprise, Journalistic scum.

Do you know them in person? If you don’t, then how do you derive that conclusion? Based on Tesla’s one sided story?

Luckily US has court system that protect the individual with “innocent until proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt”.

Of course, there are no such thing in the eyes of public which are often made up by idiots especially those who has access to a keyboard and internet.

Doh! Only you’d think Tesla employees are fanatical enough to purposely step in front of a moving vehicle. Then again, it’s a conspiracy against the very locals that supported them. Tesla waited till they left, injured themselves and lodged a false police report.

Yeah! That must be it. Either that or journalistic scum.

“Based on Tesla’s one sided story?”

Dude, did you even read the story? Or did you just make another Tesla-bashing post without bothering to read the facts?

This was a story from the paper which employs the very reporters and/or photographers who have been arrested. If there’s anything “one-sided” about it, it’s certainly not Tesla’s side!

Did you read that store directly?

Yes, the arrest is mentioned, but many of the so called details don’t sound similarity in terms of severity compared to the Tesla story.

Yeah. *eyeroll* I’m TOTALLY sure Tesla just invited two Paparazzi to the GF to show them some breeze blocks, then suddenly decided to threaten them with legal action if they didn’t leave.

I never said that arrest didn’t happen.

Just read newspaper’s own coverage and you will see certain labels or terms are used different. Trespassing is mentioned and arrested is mentioned.

But terms such as assult wasn’t used.

But there will be “preponderance of evidence” in the civil suits. I’m sure there will be multiple lawsuits.

Aren’t we as consumers of news regarding Tesla encouraging such behaviour? I know i follow every news about Tesla with passion. I click on every news item with word Tesla in it. Other evs ,not so much. Tesla stories also have much more comments.

I don’t think we Tesla enthusiasts are encouraging trespassing, let alone vehicular assault by paparazzi!

We’ve had videos from drone overflys… all of which, at least according to the reports, were made with permission. We’ve had plenty of “photo op” stories.

There is absolutely no excuse for someone sneaking onto the construction site. It’s not like Tesla is hiding anything. Much as I’m interested the state of progress of the Gigafactory, one large two-story building under construction looks much like another.

Nobody is aruging that trespassing wasn’t done or it wasn’t illegal.

But there are so details of the story that didn’t align.

Tesla didn’t mention that Jeep’s window was shatter and driver’s seat belt was cut.

Why would the driver’s seat belt cut? Was it for the arrest or was there struggle?

Those details were omitted from Tesla’s story but covered by the newspaper.

Just don’t jump to conclusions since NONE OF US WERE THERE.

The fact that the driver side window was shattered AND this was omitted from the Tesla press release tells me there’s way more to this story than what Tesla is reporting. It’s also very irresponsible for employees to attempt to use force to detain people (which is clearly what happened here), since this sort of thing could be an end result.

I’m just speculating, but I think the security people threw a rock through the window of the Jeep when it was clear that the driver was attempting to maneuver around the ATV- which was positioned to block their escape. When the glass shattered, the security people were probably attempting to pull the driver out- he panicked, threw it in reverse, hit the security guard, put it in drive, and hit the ATV.

Sorry Tesla, I’m not buying your story.

So you want us to buy THIS fabrication? Ha

kubel said:

“I’m just speculating, but I think the security people threw a rock through the window of the Jeep when it was clear that the driver was attempting to maneuver around the ATV- which was positioned to block their escape.”

Gosh yes, we should believe speculation by someone who wasn’t there and hasn’t spoken to anyone who was there. We should believe that, and not the Sheriff’s Department report.

::rolling eyes::

Well if we are going to do blind speculation, I am going to speculate the rock was thrown after the driver hit the ATV or the security guard.

I can see security guards trying to block the way, but see no reason for them to start throwing rocks unless provoked in some other way (like fear for their life for example). Under your story-line, the security guards would be liable to pay for the window and potentially injuring the driver, and I don’t think most security guards would take that kind of liability just to detain a trespasser.

Have we learned nothing from Paul Blart: Mall Cop 1 & 2? 😉 Landowners and their security guards can use reasonable force to detain trespassers. The security fence at the Gigafactory site was posted with No Trespassing signs, putting the reporters on notice that they do not have permission enter Tesla’s private property. If you catch some guy pleasuring himself while peeping through your bathroom window as your wife or kids showered inside, would you call the police and then wait for them to arrive while the pervert tried to flee? No, you would detain the pervert until police arrived so that they could arrest him, and you would have the legal right to use reasonable force to detain him. JakeY said: “Under your story-line, the security guards would be liable to pay for the window and potentially injuring the driver, and I don’t think most security guards would take that kind of liability just to detain a trespasser.” Tesla would indemnify the security guards for any liability their guards incurred if they acted reasonably. From observing security guards at various nightclubs not exactly using kid gloves on (beating the crap out of) unruly club patrons, I’d say that at… Read more »

“It’s also very irresponsible for employees to attempt to use force to detain people (which is clearly what happened here)”

No, it’s not ‘clearly’ what happened here. I read the article. It says the Tesla employees asked the intruders to leave. It does not in any way, shape or form imply they used physical force to achieve this.

You’re bonkers, lad. You’re just making things up.

Some “security guards” are private police. Powers to arrest and use deadly force. Note I did not say use deadly force to arrest. Now if they were government police officers I would bet the reporters would have been shot and there would only be 1 side to the story. And yes, security guards are allowed to detain and handcuff people. Don’t believe me? Go shoplift at your local super center and get caught.

I’m completely in support of private property rights. I’m also completely in support of the owner (or their agents) using force to dispatch people who remain on your property when reasonable attempts were made to tell to leave (trespass). I just think it’s possible to argue that they weren’t trespassing, and if that’s the case, any attempt to detain them would be unlawful, and any force that the journalists used to escape may be justified. Consider this: 1) The journalists maintained that they didn’t think they were trespassing. I don’t doubt they entered Tesla property, but to be guilty of trespass, you must *knowingly* enter someones property in an *unlawful manner*. In other words, there must be intent. Tesla was very clear to establish that there was intent. The journalists maintain there was not. This is the key to the entire narrative- for if there was not intent, there was no trespassing, and any attempts to detain them would be an act of aggression, which could rightfully permit the journalists to respond with force in an attempt to flee. 2) The journalists maintain that when they were approached and informed it was private property, they did not refuse to leave.… Read more »

And… the Tesla fanboys come out in force. Please, fanboys, do tell me how the rock hit the window and broke it, because Tesla was silent on that issue.

Talk about sensationalist journalist wanna-bees!! They truly want to make Gigafactory look like Area 51, as mentioned before. The way they acted is extremely poor, and I feel very sorry for the Tesla-employee.

Without knowing all the facts – I at least hope the injured persons recover fast and fully!

+1

Best post

Fairness againt RGJ, confiscate the jeep. send guilty to prison.

In Tesla’s statement:

” They refused to provide their names, despite the Reno Gazette Journal (“RGJ”) ID credentials hanging from their pockets.” – And: “The vehicle belonging to the two trespassers was a Jeep marked with RGJ decals on both doors. The two individuals were later identified as RGJ employees.”

HA HA – Ya think?!

In such a wacky story – the kicker would be if they WERE’NT Reno Gazette Journal employees – but were corporate spies from another automaker, or private detectives hired by the auto dealer’s association!

…Now THAT THERE would be a very intriguing deal!

* or battery maker…

So, the paper Reno Gazette-Journal’s Publisher John Maher made a brief statement on the incident.

“We take this situation very seriously and it is under investigation at this time,”Maher said.

So, will the investigation determine if the Journalists were on assignment, or if they went Rogue? Just wondering what will be reported by the paper later, when they conclude their investigation?

So now the news is just creating news? At least for once, they would truly have the inside scoop… on themselves.

“We appreciate the interest in the Gigafactory, but the repeated acts of trespassing, including by those working for the RGJ, is illegal, dangerous and needs to stop.”
——-
Does this mean no more drone videos?

Drones shots are fine. It’s the inside of the buildings Tesla is very afraid to show. Who knows what is going on there. Tesla is in a dire state of affairs right now. That reminds me. I need to send a get-well-soon card to Tesla.

I think they should install anti-drone guns atop the factory. Robots equipped with high impact, fragmenting, short range weaponry, with laser sighting and aw capability.

Or defensive drones, then they could fight, and we would have The Drone Wars.

I’d pay real money to see that!

Really See Through? Yes, maybe Tesla has Aliens or Alien Technology inside!

Talk about a non-national news event here. This is nothing more then a local crime blotter story but it will never keep haters like See Through from trying to link Tesla to a conspiracy or something equally as stupid.

Tesla is in “dire straights”? Have I missed some important news?

Last financial report: http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/ABEA-4CW8X0/859879267x0x843991/DCDCCFDA-0709-405B-931A-B2F48A224CE8/Tesla_Q2_2015_Shareholder_Letter.pdf

Sales up. Yes they did loose $184M but they have “Cash and cash equivalents were
$1.15 billion at the end of the quarter
, down $359 million sequentially, as capital expenditures were $405 million in the quarter. Capital expenditures were primarily for the capacity expansion and tooling associated with Model X and all-wheel drive vehicles, as well as for the construction of the Gigafactory. We have historically been
frugal with our capital spending, and
our most recent capital spend per unit of
incremental capacity is significantly more efficient than even our prior performance.”

So how does having over $1B available assets “dire straights”?

Tesla’s stock (TSLA) is down about 10% recently. Nothing new there; this is a very volatile stock.

But it does unfortunately cause the short-sellers to crawl out from under their rocks to, I guess, post all over the Internet trying to drive the price down even further in the short term, in an attempt to increase their short-seller profits.

But the anti-Tesla trolls seem to have a very low opinion of the intelligence of TSLA investors. Really, how many of them are likely to be influenced by their Ludicrous™ conspiracy theories and their painfully obvious lies?

Actually, Tesla stock is down 18% since September 21, 2015. Since the September 30, 2015 launch of the Model X Tesla stock has lost 13%. Since the August 18, 2015 stock offering, Tesla stock is down 17%. It’s been a rough two months for Tesla stock.

I remember quite clearly that at least one article here at InsideEVs specifically stated that the drone overfly was done with permission.

This is one of the things which makes this story so bizarre; that if the reporters had asked politely, chances are Tesla would have arranged a tour or at least a photo op for them. It’s not like Tesla doesn’t want publicity!

The idea that Tesla is “hiding something” at the Gigafactory construction site is something only a conspiracy theorist could believe. Even Tesla-bashing trolls like “See Through” almost certainly don’t believe it; they’re merely hinting at some deep dark secret to promote their short-seller and/or anti-“green”-tech political agenda.

I hear Tesla is updating their security.

(Pictured: Elon Musk inspecting new GTR (ground to reporter) missiles.)

http://i901.photobucket.com/albums/ac211/kdawg2011/falcon_zpsvou2tfec.jpg

LOL! In journalistic circles, it’s said to never mess with anyone who buys ink by the barrel, but the RGJ should know to never mess with a guy who builds both cars and rockets!

The people in dire straights are the Tesla short sellers like the professional stock manipulators Mark Spiegel and Anton Wahlman as Tesla continues to successfully implement its plan to become a major automotive player and the best builder of EVs in the world.

Basement dwellers (literally!) like See Through who have no financial skin in the game will continue to whine and cry here and on other EV websites to no effect other then to pollute otherwise informative conversations.

I have a very short assessment of Elon Musk in the form of a CleanTechnica article that I dare See Through and all the other Tesla Haters/Cynics/Skeptics to read.

http://cleantechnica.com/2015/10/14/elon-musk-tesla-spacex-and-the-quest-for-a-fantastic-future-review/

This should be fun!

Tesla is still reinvesting itself as it grows to then achieve mass market via the Tesla III.
Just be patient.

Hope those Jurno’s get what they deserve and for people saying otherwise, injuring people for a story pics is dam low by any one standards with half a brain.

Just more proof that ICE cars are hazardous.

Wow, what a massive amount of hand-wringing over a minor incident. It seems straight forward – the journalists should have requested access (afterall, how big a scoop is a picture of, Gasp! the Gigafactory?!!). And the security guards should have requested they leave, and NOT tried to detain them. Seriously, they should all go back to Amateur Academy.