The time and place of the confrontation cast doubt on Musk’s claim that the account posted real-time “kill coordinates” that threatened his family and led to the confrontation. Police have said little about the incident, but say they have yet to find a connection between the confrontation and the plane tracking account.
Last week’s incident prompted a major rewrite of Twitter’s rules and the suspension of half a dozen journalists’ pages, condemned by free speech advocates. It also highlighted how Musk’s personal concerns could affect his management of the social media platform, which is used by hundreds of millions of people around the world.
As the sole owner of Twitter, Musk can dictate policy as he pleases. Musk disbanded Twitter’s board of directors, which among other companies could have influenced the company’s response to the incident, as well as its longtime “trust and safety” committee, which advised the social media platform on its policies. No Twitter executive has the stature to balance Musk’s directives.
South Pasadena police were called to the gas station at 9:45 p.m. Tuesday, according to the business manager, but no arrests were made. South Pasadena police did not respond to requests for comment.
The Los Angeles Police Department said Thursday that its threat management unit was in contact with Musk’s representatives and security team, but no reports of a crime had been filed. Police did not respond to requests for an update Sunday.
Using video of the incident that Musk posted on Twitter, The Washington Post identified the car’s owner and then the driver shown in the video, who rented it through the car-sharing service Turo.
The renter of the car, Brandon Collado, confirmed in an interview with The Post that he is the man shown in the video. He also provided The Post with videos taken by Musk’s security guard, which match the videos Musk posted on Twitter.
Speaking to The Post, Collado admitted he was interested in Musk and the mother of Musk’s two children, a musician known as Grimes, whose real name is Claire Elise Boucher. Boucher lives in a house near a gas station.
During his communication with The Post, Collado, who said he was an Uber Eats driver, also made some strange and unsubstantiated claims, including that he believed Boucher was sending him coded messages on his Instagram account. through records. that Musk monitored his location in real time; and that Musk could control Uber Eats to block it from receiving delivery orders. He said he was in Boucher’s neighborhood to work at Uber Eats.
Musk did not respond to The Post’s emailed and tweeted requests to discuss the incident. Boucher did not respond to requests for comment.
Stalking is a widespread problem in Los Angeles due to the concentration of high-profile figures. After 21-year-old actress Rebecca Schaefer was gunned down in the driveway of her Los Angeles home by an overzealous fan in 1989, the city took several measures to protect stalking targets, such as restrictions on public access to address information. : California driving records and a specialized police unit focused on the problem.
However, in 2015, actress and singer Selena Gomez was forced out of her $4.5 million home due to relentless stalking. Actress Sandra Bullock recently opened up about the trauma and PTSD she experienced after a detective broke into her home in 2014. In 2012, a man accused of stalking actress Halle Berry was sentenced to more than a year in prison.
Boucher was also targeted for prosecution. In 2018, she was granted a restraining order against a man named Raymond Barajas after he showed up at her home and said she believed he was secretly communicating with her through his music.
LAPD Detective Mark Madero told The Post that the unit is investigating a man accused of stalking Boucher. After the confrontation at the gas station, Musk’s security team alerted police, who began investigating whether the man in the video was the same alleged stalker, Madero said. He said the unit has yet to make a decision and is continuing to investigate.
Madero said the man’s video suggests he made efforts to conceal his identity, including wearing gloves and partially covering his face. But he said his department has no evidence to suggest the man police are investigating used the plane’s tracking account. He noted that detectives typically use “open source searches of the targeted individual,” adding: “Nothing will surprise me.”
On Thursday, Musk tweeted that reporters were “aware of violent followers and still stunned by my family’s real-time location.” He did not say which journalists he was referring to, nor did he provide any evidence. The Post was not aware of the incident until Musk tweeted about it. A review of the internet did not turn up any news about the tracker. A volunteer from investigative journalism group Bellingcat used the video posted by Musk detect the incident to the gas station.
Musk’s plane landed in Los Angeles last Monday, Dec. 12, after taking off from Oakland, according to @ElonJet, citing flight data known as ADS-B data that is legally and routinely collected by aviation hobbyists and posted on public websites. such as ADS-B Exchange.
Musk was in San Francisco the night before, whistling onstage at Dave Chappelle’s comedy show. Three days ago, he made another post photo: of his 2-year-old son X Æ A-Xii of San Francisco, whom Musk calls “X.”
The incident happened at the gas station on Tuesday, Dec. 13, about 15 minutes before the station closed, according to its manager, Daniel Santiago, who was working that night. Santiago said he was surprised when the car Collado was driving pulled into the Arco station and into the space next to Santiago’s car, which is not a normal place for a customer to park.
He said the incident was captured on the gas station’s security camera and that the footage was turned over to South Pasadena police on Thursday.
According to a video of the incident released by Musk, a member of Musk’s security team confronted Collado while sitting in a car wearing gloves and a hat. “Yes, absolutely sure. Got it,” said a member of Musk’s security team on the video.
It is not known what happened between the two men before they got to the gas station. There was no indication in the videos shared with The Post that Musk’s children were present.
Collado claimed he was making Uber Eats deliveries and visiting a friend when he entered the gas station and said Musk’s security guard confronted him for no reason. Collado said he believes Musk is monitoring his location in real time.
Two videos of the altercation Collado shared with The Post show him getting out of his rental car and standing in front of a Toyota driven by Musk’s security guard.
Shortly after the incident, South Pasadena police officers arrived at the gas station, questioned Collado and told him they would file a report, Collado said.
On Saturday, Colado tweeted at Musk: “I’m the guy in this video… You have ties to me and have been stalking me and my family for over a year.” Collado said he had not been contacted by police since Tuesday night.
After the gas station incident, Twitter changed its rules to prohibit the sharing of “direct location information,” including links to other sites that list “travel routes, actual physical location, or other identifying information that would reveal a person’s location regardless of since this information is publicly available.”
It also suspended the accounts of @ElonJet, its operator Jack Sweeney and dozens of other jet trackers that monitored the public movements of sports teams, politicians and Russian oligarchs.
Twitter also removed reporters from The Post, New York Times, CNN and other news organizations who covered the @ElonJet suspensions. Two former employees who have communicated with Twitter employees told The Post that the terminations were once marked “Elon’s direction.”
Musk’s representatives previously asked the Federal Aviation Administration to limit the sharing of certain flight records using a program known as Limiting Aircraft Data Display. But such requests do not prevent the transmission of ADS-B data, which comes from unencrypted signals broadcast from aircraft and which anyone with the proper equipment can receive from the ground.
On Sunday, Musk released videos showing him attending the World Cup game in Qatar. When some in the audience shared photos of Musk’s participation, Twitter users pointed out that the details could be classified as real-time location information, which Musk had labeled “kill coordinates” and were no longer allowed.
Alice Crites contributed to this report.