Tesla Accuses Journalists Of Trespassing And Assault

Fear and loathing in the Gigafactory

Powerwall

Powerwall

Tesla

It sounds like a scene from an action movie. Two reporters scale a fence and sneak into a major construction project, taking photographs. Security confronts them and calls the police. Instead of sticking around for the authorities to show up, the reporters jump into their Jeep, hitting security personnel and causing injuries in their attempt to flee.

But this isn't some Hollywood fantasy. This is real life, at least according to the electric car company Tesla. In a statement released by the company today, they assert that two employees of the Reno Gazette-Journal trespassed onto the company's property, and assaulted two Tesla employees, injuring at least one.

The Tesla statement said that two newspaper employees have been arrested and are both facing charges of trespassing, while one also faces charges of assault with a deadly weapon (presumably, the Jeep, which reportedly bore the Reno Gazette-Journal's logo).

An article by the Reno Gazette-Journal said that only one employee, a photographer, had been arrested and charged with "battery with a deadly weapon." The paper also reported that the newspaper's Jeep was damaged during the altercation, with a window smashed and a seatbelt cut.

Apparently, this isn't the first time that Tesla has dealt with journalist trespassers. From the statement released by Tesla:

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.

The Gigafactory is a massive battery factory still under construction. It is the site where Tesla's highly-anticipated Powerwall batteries will be produced. The Reno Gazette-Journal has been covering the construction of the factory in Sparks, Nevada since building began last year.