Two journalists from the Reno Gazette-Journal snuck into Tesla’s Gigafactory on Friday, October 9, 2015. The altercation resulted in felony assault charges on the two journalists.
Here’s Tesla’s statement on the incident:
October 13, 2015
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.
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.
Meanwhile, the statement issued by the Reno Gazette-Journal Publisher John Maher said “We take this situation very seriously and it is under investigation at this time”. Also, the newspaper’s driver’s side window had been shattered with a rock.
This is why you don’t disobey “No Trespassing” signs on any property Elon Musk owns.
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