What happened in stalking incident Musk cited to ban @ElonJet


LOS ANGELES — A confrontation between a member of Elon Musk’s security team and a suspected stalker that Musk blamed on a Twitter account that tracked his jet took place at a gas station 26 miles from the airport Los Angeles International and 23 hours after the @ElonJet account last located the jet’s location.

The timing and location of the confrontation cast doubt on Musk’s claim that the account posted real-time “assassination coordinates” that threatened his family and led to the confrontation. Police said little about the incident, but said they had yet to find a link between the confrontation and the aircraft tracking account.

Last week’s incident sparked a major rewrite of Twitter’s rules and the suspension of half a dozen accounts of journalists, which have been condemned by free speech advocates. It 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 policy as he sees fit. Musk disbanded Twitter’s board, which at other companies could have influenced the company’s response to the incident, as well as his longtime ‘trust and safety’ committee that had advised the social media platform about its policies. No Twitter executive has the stature to balance Musk’s directives.

The incident, according to reports by The Washington Post, happened 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 director of the company, but made no arrests. South Pasadena Police did not respond to requests for comment.

The Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement Thursday that its Threat Management Unit has been in contact with Musk’s representatives and security team, but no crime report has been filed. Police did not respond to requests for updates on Sunday.

Using video of the incident posted by Musk on Twitter, The Post identified the owner of the car involved and then the driver shown in the video who had rented it through car-sharing service Turo.

The car’s renter, 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 shot of Musk’s security guard that matched one Musk had posted on Twitter.

In his conversations with The Post, Collado acknowledged that he was interested 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 it from receiving delivery orders. He said he was in the Boucher neighborhood working for Uber Eats.

Musk did not respond to requests emailed and tweeted by The Post to discuss the incident. Boucher did not respond to requests for comment.

Due to its concentration of high profile personalities, harassment is a pervasive problem in Los Angeles. After 21-year-old actress Rebecca Schaeffer was shot outside her Los Angeles home in 1989 by an obsessive fan, the city enacted several measures intended to protect targets from harassment, such as restrictions on the Public Access to Address Information from California Driving Records and a specialized law enforcement unit focused on the problem.

However, in 2015, actress and singer Selena Gomez was forced out of her $4.5 million home because of a relentless stalker. Actress Sandra Bullock recently open about trauma and PTSD she lived after a stalker broke into her home in 2014. In 2012, a man accused of stalking actress Halle Berry was sentenced to over a year in prison.

Boucher was also the target of harassment. In 2018, she obtained a restraining order against a man named Raymond Barrajas after he showed up at her house and said he believed she was secretly communicating with him through her music.

Marc Madero, a Los Angeles police detective with 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 made a decision yet and was continuing to investigate.

Madero said video of the man suggested he made efforts 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 research from a targeted individual”, adding: “Nothing would surprise me”.

Musk tweeted on Thursday that reporters had been “aware of the violent stalker and yet still doxed my family’s real-time location.” He did not specify which journalists he was referring to or provide any evidence. The Post was unaware of the incident until Musk tweeted about it. A review of the internet found no accounts of a stalker. A volunteer with investigative journalism group Bellingcat used the video Musk posted on locate the incident at the gas station.

Musk’s jet landed in Los Angeles on Monday, December 12, after flying from Oakland, the @ElonJet account said, citing flight information, known as ADS-B data, which is legally and regularly collected by aviation enthusiasts and posted on public websites. such as ADS-B exchange.

Musk was in San Francisco the night before, booed on stage to Dave Chappelle’s comedy show. Three days earlier he had posted another Photo of San Francisco of her 2-year-old son, X Æ A-Xiiwhich Musk calls “X”.

The incident happened at the gas station on Tuesday, December 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 in Arco station and in the space next to Santiago’s car, which is not a normal location for a customer .

He said the incident was caught on the gas station’s security camera and the footage was turned over to South Pasadena police on Thursday.

According to video of the incident posted by Musk, the member of Musk’s security team confronted Collado while seated in the car wearing gloves and a balaclava. “Yeah, almost sure. I understand you,” the member of Musk’s security team can be heard saying on the video.

What happened between the two men before they arrived at the gas station is unknown. There is no indication in the videos shared with The Post that Musk’s children were present.

Collado claimed he was doing Uber Eats deliveries and visiting a friend when he walked into the gas station and said Musk’s security guard then confronted him for no reason. Collado said he believed Musk was monitoring his location in real time.

Two videos of the altercation that 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, Collado tweeted to 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 has not been contacted by police since Tuesday evening.

After the gas station incident, Twitter changed its rules to prohibit the sharing of all “live location information”, including links to other websites showing “travel directions, location real physical or other identifying information that would reveal a person’s location, regardless of whether that information is publicly available.

It also suspended @ElonJet, its operator, Jack Sweeney, and dozens of its other jet-tracking accounts, which monitored the public movements of Russian sports teams, political figures and oligarchs.

Twitter has also suspended reporters from the Post, New York Times, CNN and other news organizations who covered @ElonJet suspensions. Two former employees in contact with Twitter staff told The Post that the suspensions were at one point marked “Elon management”.

Representatives for Musk previously asked the Federal Aviation Administration to limit the sharing of certain flight records, using a program known as Limiting Aircraft Data Displayed. But such requests do not prevent the transmission of ADS-B data, which comes from unencrypted signals that are broadcast from aircraft, and which anyone with the proper equipment can receive from the ground.

On Sunday, Musk posted videos showing him attending the World Cup championship match 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, such as the genre Musk had labeled “assassination coordinates,” and n were no longer allowed.

Alice Crites contributed to this report.

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