Photographer arrested, charged with ‘battery with a deadly weapon’ after incident involving security at Tesla’s Gigafactory site

by Gannon Burgett

posted Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 2:20 PM EDT

Last Friday, a photojournalist for Nevada’s Reno Gazette-Journal was arrested after an incident with guards from a private security firm who were keeping watch over Tesla’s gigafactory construction site near Sparks, NV.

According to the report from Reno Gazette-Journal, whom the photographer is employed by, Andy Barron was arrested and subsequently booked on a charge of battery with a deadly weapon. In a statement to Reno Gazette-Journal on the incident, Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro stated Barron was ‘arrested after an altercation with the security guards when they attempted to detain him for trespassing’.

Antinoro went on to say Barron attempted to drive his vehicle (owned by the Reno Gazette-Journal) away from the private security guards and as a result almost hit at least one, possibly more guards in his attempt to leave.

Photograph from Tesla showing construction progress on the Gigafactory as of November 2014

Barron’s vehicle was immediately stopped and Barron detained by the security guards until Storey County Sheriffs arrived. According to the report, a rock was used to shatter the driver’s-side window and a device was used to cut the seatbelt, presumably to remove Barron from the vehicle.

John Maher, Publisher of the Reno Gazette-Journal, said the newspaper ‘is taking the incident seriously’.

Sheriff Antinoro says he is unsure whether the guards were a firm contracted out by Tesla, or direct employees of Tesla. Tesla has yet to comment, despite the Reno Gazette-Journal reaching out for comment.

The Reno Gazette-Journal notes Barron has been an employee since 1998. 

We will update this story as more information becomes available.

(via David Hobby via RGJ)