Tesla says two Nevada journalists from RGJ snuck into its factory and injured its employees

A bizarre tale of trespassing, journalism, and a factory.

Journalists sometimes go to great lengths to obtain valuable information, but a couple of them may have crossed some lines on Friday.

According to a blog post from Tesla Motors TSLA 1.70% on Tuesday, two journalists snuck into its Gigafactory in Nevada on Friday evening to take photos and look around the facilities before a security guard caught them. Long story short, the incident ended with two Tesla employees sustaining injuries and one arrest for felony assault with a deadly weapon.

The culprits were two journalists from the Reno Gazette-Journal, according to Tesla.

Andy Barron was booked on a charge of battery with a deadly weapon, Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro said.

“He was arrested after an altercation with the security guards when they attempted to detain him for trespassing,” Antinoro said.

Antinoro said Barron tried to drive away from guards and “either hit or almost hit one or more of the security officers.”

“They were stopped at that point in time and detained until my people got there and conducted an investigation that led to the arrest of whoever was driving the vehicle,” Antinoro said.

Reno Gazette-Journal Publisher John Maher said the newspaper is taking the incident seriously.

Late on Friday, a Tesla safety manager received noticed that two men were taking pictures on the factory’s premises and attempted to confront them. After a second safety manager arrived at the scene and they were asked to wait until the Sheriff’s department and safety management arrived, the two men got into their Jeep car. Then, this happened, according to Tesla:

As the Tesla employee attempted to record the license plate number on the rear bumper, the driver put it in reverse and accelerated into the Tesla employee, knocking him over, causing him to sustain a blow to the left hip, an approximate 2” bleeding laceration to his right forearm, a 3” bleeding laceration to his upper arm, and scrapes on both palms.

As the RGJ employees fled the scene, their Jeep struck the ATV that carried the two safety managers. When one of the safety managers dismounted the ATV and approached the Jeep, the driver of the Jeep accelerated into him, striking him in the waist.

The Sheriff’s department arrested and charged one of the employees with two counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon and told both journalists that they will be charged with trespassing, according to Tesla.

Fortune has reached out to the Reno Gazette-Journal and will update this story if we hear back.

Kelly Scott: Jon Ralston joins RGJ political coverage team

Kelly Scott, 2:48 p.m. PST December 17, 2014


The 2015 Legislative session is almost here, and I’d like to introduce you to the RGJ team that will be covering it for you.

I’m excited to share with you that our coverage will include exclusive work from political journalist Jon Ralston as we move into 2015. Ralston, who has covered Nevada politics for more than a quarter century, will provide analysis of statewide issues at the Legislature and Southern Nevada politics.

You might recognize Ralston from “Ralston Reports,” a television program he hosted for 14 years on all three Nevada NBC affiliates, including KRNV-Channel 4 in Reno. He previously has written for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Las Vegas Sun.

Ralston will begin writing exclusive columns for RGJ Media on Jan. 7. His columns will publish on RGJ.com and in the Wednesday and Sunday editions of the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Besides writing for RGJ Media, Ralston publishes an email newsletter, “Flash,” that provides agenda-setting political coverage and analysis. He is a contributing editor at Politico magazine and regularly appears on national television, including programs on MSNBC, FOX and PBS. You can follow Ralston on Twitter at @RalstonReports.

The addition of Ralston is just one piece of our legislative coverage we will offer in 2015 from what I believe is the best team of political journalists in the state:

* Ray Hagar will lead our political team in Carson City. Hagar, a fifth-generation Nevadan and award-winning political reporter, will deliver analysis and in-depth coverage that matters to you in the months ahead. His insight and storytelling will bring what happens at the statewide level home to you. Hagar has been covering politics for RGJ Media for about 15 years and also is a regular host on “Nevada Newsmakers,” which appears at 11:30 a.m. Monday- Thursday on KRNV-Channel 4. You can follow him on Twitter @RGJRayHagar.

* Anjeanette Damon is our city watchdog reporter who will cover issues related to Reno, Sparks and Washoe County government. Damon is a longtime Northern Nevadan who has award-winning experience in covering the Legislature and developing strong reporting that holds our elected officials accountable for their decisions. She will report on larger issues rather than the day-to-day developments of the session. Damon has previously covered the Legislature for RGJ Media and the Las Vegas Sun. She also hosted a political talk show on KRNV Channel 4 called “To the Point.” You can follow her on Twitter @AnjeanetteDamon.

* Emerson Marcus is taking on a new role as the consumer advocate reporter at RGJ Media, tackling stories that matter to you. Examples of his focus for the session include health care, taxes and fees, and quality-of-life issues. He also will continue to write his award-winning Ask the RGJ feature through the session. While this is his first session at the Legislature, Emerson has been covering breaking news and crime in Reno for about three years. You can follow him on Twitter @Emerson_Marcus.

* Engagement Editor Mark Robison will help provide meaningful analysis for you this session through our Voices coverage. His research and analytical skills will take issues beyond the political posturing that comes with legislative politics by digging into the facts. Robison also will coordinate our editorial board meetings and write our editorials. You might know Robison from his award-winning Fact Checker column, which he plans to continue developing from the halls of Carson City. You can follow him on Twitter @MarkRGJ.

We’ll be ramping up political coverage after the holidays. If you have story suggestions or issues you’d like covered, please email me at kscott@rgj.com or ask me on Twitter @KellyAnnScott. As always, thank you for reading us.

Reno Gazette-Journal continuing investigation into Harvey Whittemore’s election campaign activities

Reno Gazette-Journal is continuing the investigation into Harvey Whittemore’s election campaign activities with the RGJ Special Report.

F. Harvey Whittemore (born 17 August 1952) is an American lawyer and businessman in the Reno, Nevada, area.[1] As an influential lobbyist[2] for the gambling, alcohol and tobacco industries, and for his own ventures,[3][4] Whittemore has been called “one of Nevada’s most powerful men”.[1] Whittemore was the president of Coyote Springs Investment, LLC, the land-development company behind Coyote Springs, a controversial[5][6] $30 billion planned golf course community of 160,000 homes on 43,000 acres (170 km2) in the rural Nevada desert.[7][8] Whittemore’s close relationship with Senator Harry Reid came under scrutiny because of perceived legislative and political pressure favors allowing Coyote Springs to overcome regulatory problems.[9][10] In 2012, Whittemore came under grand jury investigation, initiated by the Federal Election Commission, to determine whether he was guilty of breaking federal campaign contribution laws.

We will follow this story and link to news and websites to tell this epic story of Nevada corruption & bribery. This  scandal encompasses the top political figures in Nevada politics including Harry Reid.

Keep coming back as this section grows.

Harvey Whittemore once bounded through Nevada’s Legislature as the embodiment of influence — a lobbyist for casinos and other powerful interests, a lawyer, a gregarious personality and sharp mind. He also was a lucrative campaign contributor for elected officials, which helped open doors.

Whittemore pushed boundaries — one time seeking legislation to allow a private pier to be built at Lake Tahoe for himself and his friends. Sometimes his overreach was literal.

In the 1990s, when the Legislature installed tall glass walls in the Assembly and Senate chambers to separate lawmakers from the public gallery, they became known as “Harvey’s Walls” since they stopped his habit of reaching into the chambers before votes on bills.

On Thursday, Whittemore, in a dark suit and shackles around his ankles, entered a Reno courtroom to offer his not-guilty plea on federal charges of campaign finance law violations and lying to investigators.
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