Law enforcement in South Pasadena, California, offered conflicting information on Tuesday about Elon Musk’s claim that a “crazy stalker” followed a car carrying his son last week. The billionaire claimed the person had “blocked [the] car from moving & climbed onto [the] hood,” and he used the alleged incident as justification for banning a Twitter account that tracked his private jet. Musk further claimed he would take legal action against the 20-year-old college student who operated it.
In a press release on Tuesday, the South Pasadena Police Department outlined a different set of facts, declaring at first that “detectives do not believe Mr. Musk or any member of his family were present during the confrontation,” which Deputy City Manager Domenica Megerdichian confirmed in a phone call with The Daily Beast. Soon after, the department released an updated press release, which simply stated that Musk wasn’t present during the incident. In a subsequent call with The Daily Beast, Megerdichian said investigators are still trying to confirm additional details.
According to the press release, on Dec. 13 an officer arrived at the scene on Mission Street following a reported “assault with a deadly weapon involving a vehicle.”
Upon arrival, the “victim”—a 29-year-old man from Connecticut—explained that he had exited the highway and “stopped to use his telephone in a parking lot” when “another vehicle pulled directly in front of him, blocking his path.”
At that point, the victim alleged, “the driver of the vehicle exited and approached the victim, accusing him of following him on the freeway…As the suspect was leaving the parking lot, he struck the victim with his vehicle.”
The press release said that authorities later learned that the alleged “suspect involved in this case is believed to be a member of Elon Musk’s security team.”
Officials said they are continuing to examine evidence related to the incident and are seeking to reach “Musk and his security team for statements.”
The Washington Post previously identified the other party in the altercation as Brandon Collado, an UberEats driver who had an “interest” in the mother of two of Musk’s children, the musician Grimes. Collado told the Post he was in the musician’s neighborhood driving for UberEats when Musk’s security guard confronted him at the gas station “without reason.” He also told the outlet that Grimes was sending him coded messages through Instagram, that Musk was tracking his location, and that the billionaire was blocking him from receiving UberEats orders.
Los Angeles police detective Marc Madero told the Post that Musk’s team contacted the police following the gas station incident to investigate whether Collado was the same person suspected of stalking Grimes previously. He said they had not made a determination.
Musk seized on the “crazy stalker” narrative as he moved to ban a long-time source of frustration, the @ElonJet account—even though the alleged encounter did not appear to take place near an airport, and there was no other apparent link to the jet tracker.
The billionaire doubled down after the initial @ElonJet ban, booting the college student’s personal account, too. He then suspended multiple prominent journalists who had linked to information about the tracker. Twitter also suspended the account belonging to Linette Lopez, an Insider columnist who has spent years critically covering his businesses. As of Tuesday afternoon, her account was still offline.