Cops on the hunt for reckless driver who 'flew' Tesla through LA streets in viral video
"I heard the crash, I felt the crash," said Jordan Hook, a neighbor who was able to rush into the yard
Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department are looking for the driver of a Tesla that was captured on video speeding through the junction of Alvarado and Baxter Streets. The video, which went viral on social media, was shot shortly after midnight on Sunday morning at roughly 12:10 a.m.
It shows the car accelerating uphill before leaping several feet into the air, landing on the opposite side of the roadway, and skittering down the hill, colliding with two parked cars and many trash cans. The 2018 Tesla S was a rented vehicle, according to the LAPD investigation.
According to Tesla's website, the tri-motor all-wheel drive version of the vehicle, which has 1,020 horsepower and a top speed of 200 miles per hour, is listed at $129,740, while the dual-motor version is listed at $93,740, both without any upgrades. However, Kelley Blue Book has priced the 2018 Model S at upwards of $60,000.
Residents in the vicinity are now upset, not just because it is unsafe, but also because this isn't the first time something like this has occurred. "I heard the crash, I felt the crash," said Jordan Hook, a neighbor who was able to rush into the yard and grab video showing some of the persons involved in the event jumping into a "support Tesla" to flee, leaving the damaged Tesla behind.
Hook was furious because his everyday driver was one of the cars hit by the Tesla as it flew through the air, claiming that his Subaru "can't be turned or driven." "The cringeworthy thing that gets your blood boiling isn’t necessarily the car jumping and crashing," he said. "It’s the attitude of these guys and the fact that they’re so cocky about it. Then they just get up and leave after it’s done."
Someone decided to jump a Tesla on Baxter St in Echo Park, LA. pic.twitter.com/LS1oMtNEcY— Benjamin Young Savage (ᐱᓐᒋᐱᓐ) (@benjancewicz) March 20, 2022
"The fact that they tried to dump it is just so dumb," said Ben Havok, who also lives in the vicinity. "Everything that happened after is just kind of insane." Cliff Magreta, a resident of the street, was among many who recorded the incident from their home. He described the "eerie calm" that followed the vehicle's arrival at the bottom of the slope.
I love how different video angles of the Tesla in Echo Park has made its way around Ifunny for days before the news of LAPD getting involved. 😂😂🤩— Ghost (@_YL2P) March 21, 2022
The Tesla was apparently abandoned at the scene of the accident, and investigators have no information on the driver as they continue their search. They want to contact the vehicle's renter and have already filed a misdemeanor hit-and-run report.
"Luckily nobody got killed," said Detective Juan Campos of the LAPD's Central Traffic Division in a statement released via Zoom on Sunday. He paused and continued, "One wrong move and it would’ve gone to the left or right and we would’ve had a different story than just property damage." He went on to say that if the motorist had stayed on the scene, he would have most likely been charged with reckless driving.
Jonathan Sutak, another resident of the area, said, "The cops are gonna do nothing about it because it’s property damage," Sutak said. "No one was hurt; of course if someone was hurt they’d do something about it, but then it would be too late." Sutak proceeded to add that he didn't see an end in sight due to the absence of consequences for these crimes, especially knowing what individuals will do for a little bit of internet clout, as he picked up debris from the collision in his front yard.
"I think only if there’s a high profile arrest, or fine will there be some kind of sign people should not drive Teslas over my house," Sutak added.
Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department announced that they would be beefing up patrols in the region in case any copycats try to recreate the sequence of videos that have emerged from the area. Authorities also announced that any member of the public who gives information that leads to an arrest, identification, conviction, or resolution through a civil compromise is eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 from the Hit and Run Reward Program Trust Fund established in 2015.