What happened in stalking incident Musk cited to ban @ElonJet


LOS ANGELES — A confrontation between a member of Elon Musk’s security team and an alleged stalker that Musk blamed on a Twitter account that followed his jet took place at a station gasoline 26 miles from Los Angeles International Airport and 23 hours after the @ElonJet account had the last location of the jet’s whereabouts.

The time 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 have said little about the incident but say they have yet to find a link between the confrontation and the jet-tracking account.

Last week’s incident prompted a major change in Twitter’s rules and the suspension of the accounts of half a dozen journalists, which has been condemned by free speech advocates. It also highlights how Musk’s personal concerns could affect the management of the social media platform used by hundreds of millions of people around the world.

As the sole owner of Twitter, Musk can make the policies he wants. Musk disbanded Twitter’s board, boards of other companies that may have influenced the company’s response to the incident, as well as the longstanding “trust and safety” committee that advises the social media platform on its policies. No executive at Twitter has the stature to balance Musk’s directives.

The incident happened in South Pasadena, a suburb of Los Angeles, on Tuesday at about 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 did not respond to a request for comment.

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

Using a video of the incident that Musk posted to Twitter, The Washington Post identified the owner of the vehicle involved and then the driver in the video who rented it through the Turo car-sharing service. .

The renter, Brandon Collado, confirmed in an interview with The Post that he was the one featured in the video. He also provided The Post with videos he took of Musk’s security guard, matching the video Musk posted on Twitter.

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During a conversation with The Post, Collado admitted 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 a gas station.

In his exchange 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 messages. encrypted for him through her Instagram posts; that Musk is tracking his real-time location; and that Musk can control Uber Eats to prevent him from taking delivery orders. He said he was in Boucher’s neighborhood working for Uber Eats.

Musk did not respond to email and tweet requests from The Post to discuss the incident. Boucher did not respond to a request for comment.

Due to the high concentration of celebrities, tracking is a common problem in Los Angeles. After 21-year-old actress Rebecca Schaeffer was shot to death by a raving fan at the entrance to her Los Angeles home in 1989, the city took a number of measures to protect tracking targets, such as such as restricting public access to address information from the California Driving Record, and a dedicated police unit has focused on the matter.

However, in 2015, actress and singer Selena Gomez was forced to leave her $4.5 million home due to a relentless stalker. Actress Sandra Bullock recently opened up about the trauma and PTSD she went through after a stalker broke into her home in 2014. In 2012, a man was accused of stalking a female. Actor Halle Berry was sentenced to more than a year in prison.

Boucher is also a stalking target. In 2018, she was granted a restraining order against a man named Raymond Barrajas after he showed up at her home and said he believed she was secretly communicating with him through his music. me.

Marc Madero, a Los Angeles police detective with the senior stalking cases unit, told The Post that the unit was 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 alleged stalker, Madero said. He said the unit has not yet made a decision and is continuing to investigate.

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Madero said the man’s video shows him trying to conceal his identity, including wearing gloves and partially covering his face. But he said his unit has no evidence that the man police are investigating used a jet-tracking account. He noted that stalkers often use “open source searches of a targeted individual,” adding, “Nothing surprises me.”

Musk tweeted Thursday that journalists were “aware of the violent stalker but still spying on my family’s real-time location.” He did not say which journalist he was referring to or provide evidence. The Post didn’t know about the incident until Musk tweeted about it. An internet review found no news accounts of the stalker. A Bellingcat investigative journalism team volunteer used the video Musk posted fault location to the gas station.

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

Musk had been in San Francisco the night before, booed on stage at Dave Chappelle’s comedy show. Three days ago, he posted another post picture from San Francisco of his 2-year-old son X Æ A-Xii, whom Musk calls “X”.

According to manager Daniel Santiago, who was at work that night, the incident happened at the gas station on Tuesday, December 13, about 15 minutes before the station closed. Santiago said he was surprised when the car Collado was driving pulled over at Arco station and into an empty space next to Santiago’s car, which is not a normal location for customers to park.

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

According to a video recording of the incident posted by Musk, a member of Musk’s security team confronted Collado while sitting in a car wearing gloves and a hood. “Yeah, pretty sure. Got it,” a member of Musk’s security team can be heard saying on the video.

It is unclear what happened between the two men before they reached the gas station. There was no indication in the videos shared with The Post that Musk’s children were present.

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Collado testified that he was delivering for Uber Eats and was visiting a friend when he pulled over at a gas station and said Musk’s security staff then confronted him for no reason. Collado said he believes Musk is tracking his real-time location.

Two videos of the melee that Collado shared with The Post show him stepping out of his rental car and standing in front of a Toyota driven by Musk’s security personnel.

Collado said shortly after the incident, South Pasadena police officers went to the gas station, questioned Collado and told him they would file a report.

On Saturday, Collado tweeted to Musk, “I’m the person in this video… You’re connected to me and have been following me and my family for over a year.” Collado said he has not been contacted by police since Tuesday night.

After the gas station incident, Twitter changed its rules to ban the sharing of all “live location information,” including links to other websites noting “tourist routes, location fact or other identifying information that may reveal a person’s location, regardless of whether this information is publicly available.”

It also suspended @ElonJet, its operator, Jack Sweeney and dozens of his other jet-following accounts that track the public activities of sports teams, political figures and Russian oligarchs.

Twitter has also suspended journalists from The Post, New York Times, CNN and other news organizations who were covering the @ElonJet suspension. Two former employees who came into contact with Twitter employees told The Post that the suspension was once marked as “directed by Elon”.

Musk’s representatives had previously asked the Federal Aviation Administration to limit the sharing of certain flight records, using a program called the Displayed Airplane Data Limit. But such requirements do not prevent the transmission of ADS-B data, which comes from unencrypted signals that are broadcast from aircraft and can be received from the ground by anyone with the appropriate equipment. .

On Sunday, Musk posted a video showing him attending the World Cup match in Qatar. When some audience members shared photos showing Musk in attendance, the Twitter user noted that the details could be classified as real-time location information, like the kind Musk has labeled “coordinates” assassination” and is no longer allowed.

Alice Crites contributed to this report.


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