Journalists Allegedly Trespass At Tesla Gigafactory, Hit 2 Employees With Jeep

Oct 14, 2015 12:09 PM EDT | John Nassivera


While Tesla's Gigafactory has been generating a great deal of interest among journalists, reporters may want to be careful from now on after two Reno Gazette-Journal (RGJ) allegedly trespassed on the factory site Friday and injured  two employees while trying to leave.

The electric car maker wrote in a blog post that the journalists were informed that the authorities were called and an employee tried to write down their Jeep's license plate number. The car then reversed into the employee, injuring him, before hitting an ATV carrying two safety managers and accidently hit one of them in the waist after he got off the vehicle, Tesla said, according to Quartz.

One of the journalists was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, and the sheriff's department advised that "both would be charged with trespassing."

The injuries of the first employee that was assaulted include a "blow to the left hip, an approximate two-inch bleeding laceration to his right forearm, a three-inch laceration to his upper arm, and scraps on both palms," Tesla wrote, Autoblog reported. The condition of the second employee who was hit has yet to be revealed.

While RGJ has yet to comment on the situation, it did provide its own version of the incident, which says photographer Andy Barron was arrested but "either hit or almost hit one or more of the security officers." The company added that it is unsure as to how Barron's vehicle was damaged.

The incident is not the first time that Tesla has seen people trespass on its lithium-ion battery factory, which is located in Reno, Nev., Engadget reported.  The company said that it has witnessed "repeated" intrusions, though none have been as violent as Friday's.

"We appreciate the interest in the Gigafactory, but the repeated acts of trespassing, including by those working for the RGI, 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," Tesla said.

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