The time and place of the confrontation cast doubt on Musk’s claim that the account had 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 link between the confrontation and the plane’s tracking account.
The incident last week triggered a major rewrite of Twitter’s rules and the Suspension of accounts of half a dozen journalists, which were condemned by free speech advocates. He also underscored how Musk’s personal concerns can influence his governance of a social media platform used by hundreds of millions of people around the world.
As the sole owner of Twitter, Musk can dictate whatever policies he wants. Musk dissolved Twitter’s board of directors, which at other companies could have influenced the company’s reaction to the incident, as well as his former “trust and safety” committee that had advised the social media platform on its policies. No Twitter executive has the stature to balance Musk’s directives.
The incident occurred in South Pasadena, a suburb of Los Angeles, on Tuesday around 9:45 p.m. South Pasadena police were called to the gas station, according to the manager of the business, but made no arrests. South Pasadena police have not responded to requests for comment.
The Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement Thursday that its Threat Management Unit was in contact with Musk’s representatives and security team, but no crime reports had been filed. Police did not respond to requests for updates on Sunday.
Using a video of the incident that Musk posted on Twitter, The Washington Post identified the owner of the car involved and then the driver shown in the video who had rented it through the Turo car-sharing service.
The car’s lessee, Brandon Collado, confirmed in interviews with The Post that he was the person shown in the video. He also provided The Post with videos he filmed of Musk’s security guard that matched the one Musk had posted on Twitter.
In his conversations with The Post, Collado acknowledged that he has an interest in Musk and the mother of two of Musk’s children, the musician known as Grimes, whose real name is Claire Elise Boucher. Boucher lives in a house near the gas station.
In his communications with The Post, Collado, who said he was a driver for Uber Eats, also made several bizarre and unsubstantiated claims, including that he believed Boucher was sending him coded messages through his Instagram posts; that Musk was monitoring his location in real time; and that Musk could control Uber Eats to prevent him from receiving delivery orders. He said he was in the Boucher neighborhood to work at Uber Eats.
Musk did not respond to emailed and tweeted requests by The Post to discuss the incident. Boucher did not respond to requests for comment.
Due to its concentration of high-profile figures, harassment is a pervasive problem in Los Angeles. After 21-year-old actress Rebecca Schaeffer was shot to death in the driveway of her Los Angeles home in 1989 by an obsessive fan, the city took several steps to protect targets of harassment, including restrictions on public access Address information from California Driving Records and a specialized law enforcement unit zeroed in on the problem.
However, in 2015, actress and singer Selena Gomez was forced to move out of her $4.5 million home due to a relentless stalker. Actress Sandra Bullock recently opened up about trauma and PTSD she experienced after a stalker 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 has also been the target of harassment. In 2018, she was granted a restraining order against a man named Raymond Barrajas after he showed up at her home and said she believed she was secretly communicating with him through her music.
Marc Madero, an LAPD detective in the unit that investigates high-profile stalking cases, told The Post that the unit investigated 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 had not yet made a determination and is continuing to investigate.
Madero said video of the man suggested he had gone to great lengths to conceal his identity, including wearing gloves and partially covering his face. But he said his unit had no evidence to suggest the man police were investigating had used the aircraft tracking account. He noted that stalkers commonly use “open source searches for a targeted individual,” adding: “Nothing would surprise me.”
Musk tweeted Thursday that reporters were “aware of the violent stalker and yet misled with my family’s real-time location.” He did not say which journalists he was referring to or provide any evidence. The Post was not aware of the incident until Musk tweeted about it. An internet check found no news about a stalker. A volunteer for the investigative journalism group Bellingcat used the video Musk posted to locate the incident to the gas station
Musk’s plane landed in Los Angeles on Monday, December 2. On February 12, after a flight from Oakland, the @ElonJet account said, citing flight information, known as ADS-B data, which is routinely and legally collected by aviation fans and posted on public websites such as ADS-B. B Exchange.
Musk had been in San Francisco the night before, receiving booed on stage on the Dave Chappelle comedy show. Three days earlier, she had posted another Photo of San Francisco for her 2-year-old son, X Æ A-Xiiwhom Musk refers to as “X.”
The incident occurred at the gas station on Tuesday, December 2. 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 stopped at the Arco station and in the space next to Santiago’s car, which is not a normal place for a customer to park.
He said the incident was caught on the gas station’s security camera and the footage had been released to South Pasadena police on Thursday.
According to video of the incident that Musk posted, the member of Musk’s security team confronted Collado while sitting in the car wearing gloves and a hood. “Yeah, pretty sure. I got you,” a member of Musk’s security team can be heard saying in the video.
It is unknown what happened between the two men before they arrived at the gas station. There is 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 stopped at the gas station, saying Musk’s security worker confronted him for no reason. Collado said he believed Musk was 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 pulling up in front of a Toyota driven by Musk’s security worker.
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, Collado tweeted to Musk: “I’m the guy in this video… You have connections to me and have stalked 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 all “live location information,” including links to other websites that indicated “travel routes, actual physical location, or other identifying information that would reveal the location of a person, regardless of whether this information is publicly available.
It also suspended @ElonJet, its operator, Jack Sweeney, and dozens of its other plane-tracking accounts, which monitored the public movements of sports teams, political figures, and Russian oligarchs.
Twitter also suspended journalists from The Post, New York Times, CNN and other news organizations that were covering the @ElonJet suspensions. Two former employees in contact with Twitter staff told The Post that the suspensions were at one point flagged as “Elon’s address.”
Musk’s representatives previously asked the Federal Aviation Administration to limit the sharing of certain flight records, using a program known as Displayed Aircraft Data Limitation. But such requests do not prevent the transmission of ADS-B data, which comes from unscrambled signals transmitted from airplanes that can be received by anyone with the proper equipment on the ground.
On Sunday, Musk posted videos showing him attending the World Cup championship game in Qatar. When some in the stands shared photos showing Musk in attendance, Twitter users noted that the details could be classified as real-time location information, like the kind Musk had labeled “murder coordinates,” and no longer. they were allowed.
Alice Crites contributed to this report.
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