Free-Range Kids

Cops Mistake Dad for Kidnapper, Hold Him at Gunpoint Because They've Never Seen a Tesla

Blame Elon Musk, if you must.

|

Elon Musk
PAT BENIC/UPI/Newscom

A California dad putting his child in the rear-facing back seat of his Tesla was held at gunpoint by cops who thought they had cornered a kidnapper. Apparently someone called the Santa Clarita Valley sheriff's office around one in the afternoon on Saturday, convinced they were witnessing one of those public abductions in broad daylight that are so common (on Law & Order).

Or maybe they just wanted to torment a Tesla owner. Either way, St. Clarita's local news source, The Signal, reports:

[T]he alleged abduction was just someone loading a child into a Tesla's back seat, officials said.

"It was not a kidnapping," said Lt. Rob Hahnlein.

"The new Teslas have a weird back seat and when they put the (child) in the back seat it looked like they were putting them in the trunk."

As weird as the Teslas may be, weirder still is the idea that kids are getting scooped off the street by criminals in flashy cars that start at $75,000.

The Sheriff's Department discovered the gray Tesla a short amount of time after the incident was reported and detained the driver at gun point.

"We're going to investigate (a kidnapping) and detain whoever until we figure out that it is not a crime," said Hahnlein.

"We're not Tesla experts."

The driver of the Tesla showed law enforcement officials how a passerby might mistake the incident as an abduction due to the design of the back seat.

The driver could help the cops, since he was not shot dead. No word of how the dad then explained the incident to his kid. "See, sometimes bad men shove kids into trunks, but this isn't a trunk, it's a Tesla…"

Paging Elon Musk: Let's go to another planet.

NEXT: A misguided attack on Neal Katyal

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. That kid is lucky to have a dad today…. It must be that white privilege…

    1. The stupid cops must have checked their police union qualified immunity cards and found them to be expired.

      Lucky civilian.

      1. “It’s your lucky day today… But don’t try loading your kid into a Tesla again or we may be forced to shoot you and take your child away from your wife for child endangerment (since he’d be alone). If anything we don’t tolerate kidnapping, real or delusional.”

  2. “It was not a kidnapping,” said Lt. Rob Hahnlein.

    Well, they held him at gunpoint, so it was kind of a kidnapping.

    1. This is not the kidnapping you are looking for…

      1. So how does this work? I hate my neighbor, ’cause I caught him staring at my favorite, dearly beloved pink plastic yard flamingo? With a YUUGE, raging hard-on, no less!!! I mean, that’s what my neighbor had, not just me? It is a VERY attractive favorite, dearly beloved pink plastic yard flamingo!!!

        Well anyway, suffice it to say, I hate my neighbor!!!! ? So now? Can I just report my hated neighbor, and anonymously report him for “suspected” kidnapping, terrorism, yada-yada, and the King’s Men will come by and hold him at gunpoint for me? “Punishment is the process””, right? How many times can I do this, till I am investigated for false reports, and/or, my neighbor gets told, who is doing the rat-finking?

        Ah wanna know!!!!

        1. I don’t know, but to get the most bang for your buck, you’ll want to make sure and accuse your neighbor of either operating a grow house or having a meth lab in their basement, and make sure the cops know they have multiple automatic weapons. Then just sit back on your porch sipping a PBR and enjoy the show as a SWAT team rolls up on your neighbor in an MRAP.

          Oh, and you’ll want to make sure you make the report from a burner phone. Don’t use a phone that can be traced back to you, otherwise you’ll most likely be charged with your neighbor’s murder.

          1. Problem with this is when they come into your house as getting the right place to raid isn’t always a strong suit of the SWAT teams…

            1. “right place to raid” is from their point of view. although on second thought everyplace is fine for them

  3. “We’re going to investigate (a kidnapping) and detain whoever until we figure out that it is not a crime,” said Hahnlein.

    Innocent until proven guilty, how does it work?

    1. “detain whoever” is the new “Round up the usual suspects.”
      That’s some fine police work Louis.

    2. “That” being the crime you’re committing?

  4. In the cops’ defense, it needs to be remembered that you can’t spell Molesta without Tesla.

    1. As an incomplete anagram. Got it.

  5. OH MY GOD REASON ANOTHER ARTICLE BASHING TRUMP AND IGNORING THE TERRIST ATTACKS GOING ON ALL AROUND US THEY ARE POURING INTO THE COUNTRY AND ITS A WAR AND PEOPLE DIE GET USED TO IT AND IF YOU DON LIKE IT THEN GO KILL URSELF AND IF NOT OUR DEAR LEADER WILL ROOT OUT THE UNPATRIOTIC AND DISLOYAL AMERICANS WITHIN OUR MIDSTS

    1. Something something bowling green car massacre.

      1. Yeah. I’ve really got to go after my local news for not covering all these huge happenings in my city. The most I ever saw was something about a couple of guys getting arrested for supporting terrorism. I didn’t know they had actually done anything to anyone until it hit the national news.

  6. “We’re not Tesla experts.”

    Or, apparently, kidnapping experts.

    1. So did the caller identify the vehicle as a Tesla and you just got lucky that the vehicle you stopped was a Tesla or did the caller just identify the vehicle as a gray car and you were stopping every grayish-bluish-blackish-brownish-whitish car in the neighborhood at gunpoint?

      1. Remember that one time cops lit up a grandma and her daughter because they were driving a truck that looked a little bit like the suspected cop killers truck. Hahaha good times

        1. You mean, looked NOTHING like the cop killers truck, but that’s the excuse the cops used to avoid any consequences.

          (I mean, for them, natch)

      2. Since you can see the kids waving out the back window at the cars behind them they probably figured out which car it was. I mean, waves can mean so many things.

  7. Apparently someone called the Santa Clarita Valley sheriff’s office around one in the afternoon on Saturday, convinced they were witnessing one of those public abductions in broad daylight that are so common (on Law & Order).

    These are truly the brave souls that are keeping America safe.

    1. But are they the same souls that are making America great again?

  8. […] convinced they were witnessing one of those public abductions in broad daylight that are so common (on Law & Order).

    Just like all those terrorist attacks that are so common except that the Media does not report them. Thank Gawd for El Se?or Presidente who sets the record straight – and Law & Order Special Victims Unit!

    “We’re not Tesla experts.”

    Well, maybe. One thing is certain, you’re not kidnapping experts. Everyone knows that kids are snatched by creepy guys going around in old Dodge A100 vans.

  9. I know someone who knew Musk when he was going to Queen’s.

    Apparently he’s a bit of an arrogant cunt, and she’s a good judge of character.

    This isn’t relevant, I just thought it was interesting.

    1. Wouldn’t surprise me a bit-most obsessed visionaries aren’t pleasant people.

    2. Apparently he’s a bit of an arrogant cunt

      That doesn’t surprise me at all. Something about him as always just screamed “arrogant, smarmy douche.”

    3. An eccentric billionaire???? No wai!

  10. Trump could really use a terrist attack right about now. And not one of them fake attacks by autistic white kids with mommy issues.

  11. The driver of the Tesla showed law enforcement officials how a passerby might mistake the incident as an abduction due to the design of the back seat.

    “So that next time when I do abduct someone, you can tell the 911 caller ‘Oh, a Tesla you say? Don’t worry, ma’am, a Tesla owner showed us how it could be mistaken for a kidnapping so don’t worry! It’s your imagination! Go back to reading your fashion magazines and eating bom-boms!‘”

    1. Nice assuming the gender of the caller…. Sexist pig .

  12. Look on the bright side – it was a perceived kidnapping, and yet no one was shot. No one died. These days, that qualifies as good police work, right?

    1. I thought the good Police work is the work where the cops make it home. It would have been better to kill the guy just on the safe side. I hope to see these cops are put under review for acting so dangerously

      1. And they should have killed the kids too. You don’t want one of them growing up and getting revenge for killing daddy 14 years from now when you’re a week away from retirement.

  13. The Sheriff’s Department discovered the gray Tesla a short amount of time after the incident was reported and detained the driver at gun point.

    Is it wrong of me that I read that as “the gay Tesla”?

    1. Is there any other kind of Tesla?

      Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  14. I see no reason for outrage here.

    It was a suspected kidnapping. What would you want the 911 caller to do? What would you want the cops to do? My judgment is that they did everything correctly.

    1. Not pointing a loaded gun at a compliant citizen on whom you have no evidence of a crime would be a good start. With safety off and finger on the trigger, no doubt.

      Or do you really need anyone to start posting links to parents mistakenly blown away in front of their children, in this forum?

      1. It doesn’t have a safety anyway, Santa Clara Sheriffs department carry Glocks.

    2. I would want the 911 caller to not call 911 based on a completely unreasonable suspicion.

      I would want the 911 dispatch to tell the person that’s not sufficient cause to send police.

      I would want the police to not hold a clearly unarmed person at gunpoint based on zero suspicion. If he ran away, they have his car, his ID, and the alleged abductee in their custody. I don’t see what the point of holding him at gunpoint is.

    3. Nonsense. The issue is “gunpoint”.

      there is nothing wrong with reporting a suspicious activity, although the caller should be mocked.
      there is nothing wrong with the police investigating the activity.

      However. Drawing a weapon and holding an innocent citizen at gunpoint is terrorism, plain and simply. It is the actions typical of a ‘police-state’, not a free country.

    4. What would you want the 911 caller to do?

      Mind their own fucking business? Barring that, maybe use a little common sense: if the kid doesn’t appear to be resisting in any way being put into what appears to be the car’s trunk, then maybe any reasonable, non pant-shitting busybody cunt should be able to figure out that it’s not a kidnapping.

      What would you want the cops to do?

      They could start by not upholstering their guns for no fucking reason.

      My judgment is that they did everything correctly.

      Then you’re an idiot.

      1. not upholstering their guns

        Hey, a gun just isn’t ready to use until you’ve done it up in a nice floral print!

  15. THIS IS WHY WE CAN NOT LET IN THE MEXICANS AND THE DRUGS AND THE TERRISTS OH MY GOD REASON YOU THINK WERE SO INNOCENT

  16. Like actual parents don’t put their their biological children in the trunk?

    1. guilty. My kids liked to enter the car through the trunk, climb through the access hatch to the back seat and buckle themselves into the car seat.

    2. +1 Casey Anthony

  17. How is it possible that people in freaking California don’t know what a Tesla is?

  18. “The new Teslas have a weird back seat and when they put the (child) in the back seat it looked like they were putting them in the trunk.”

    Your tax dollars at work.

    1. And yet somehow cops back in the 1970’s and 80’s didn’t go around pulling over station wagons that had the same feature.

  19. “We’re not Tesla experts.”

    Nor law enforcement experts.

  20. You can’t fix stupid. Not sure if that applies to the cops, the dad driving a political statement, or both.

  21. A California dad putting his child in the rear-facing back seat of his Tesla was held at gunpoint by cops who thought they had cornered a kidnapper.

    Being mistaken as a kidnapper is something that could happen to any male who’s seen alone with a child. I’ve heard horror stories of people calling the cops on a dude for walking down the street holding their daughter’s hand. It’s fucking nuts.

    Or maybe they just wanted to torment a Tesla owner.

    If that was the case then the cops my full blessing. Tesla owners are unbearably smug. They make Prius owners look like models of humility by comparison.

    Paging Elon Musk: Let’s go to another planet.

    Obligatory.

    1. If that was the case then the cops *have* my full blessing.

      EDIT BUTTON!

  22. “gunpoint”

    I would like to see a case of self-defense go to the SCOTUS where an citizen drew and shot down an officer who had unholstered and aimed a firearm at him.
    It would be an interesting legal case. Because while a LEO can certainly have a weapon unholstered when going into an unknown situation, the act of pointing that weapon at a citizen is a severe and immediate threat. A law abiding citizen, who had not acting in a threating way, and who had a small child in close vicinity should have a legal right of self-defense to eliminate that threat to his life and that of his child.

    1. Especially if it’s a plain clothes/ undercover cop. Even if they identified themselves as a cop, that doesn’t mean they are one since anyone can pull a gun on someone and claim to be a cop.

      1. I don’t think a law abiding citizen should have to assume that someone pointing a deadly weapon at them is rational or mentally stable, uniform or not. The very act of drawing and pointing a weapon in an inappropriate situation is clear evidence of mental defect.

        It’s bizarre to me that citizens minding their own business are accosted, threatened with deadly violence and physically restrained under continued threat of deadly violence. All on the premise that the LEOs are just doing their job and are rational, stable professionals.

        1. I don’t think a law abiding citizen should have to assume that someone pointing a deadly weapon at them is rational or mentally stable, uniform or not.

          I agree, but unfortunately the uniform would probably make it more likely that the courts will side with the cop as opposed to a case where the cop is in plain clothes.

          Although I suppose one could argue that for all the citizen knew the person in the cop uniform might have been some crazy guy who somehow got a hold of a police uniform, but given most judge’s deference to LEOs, I wouldn’t expect that explanation to carry much weight, unfortunately.

  23. Why is there no useful or witty alt-text under that picture? Is it really too much to ask for?

    That’s it, I’m leaving this second rate chat room, and never coming back!

  24. “We’re not any kind of experts, really. We’re actually a platoon of trigger-happy retards.”

  25. That’s so funny! We were behind a Tesla at a red light and we thought they were just letting the kids hangout without seat belts.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.