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Tesla driver detained at gunpoint after rear-facing child seats lead to false kidnapping report


Electrek’s publisher has a Tesla Model S with rear-facing child seats, which his two kids often use. He recalls having been yelled at on a few occasions by concerned passersby when they see him put his kids in the trunk, but it never escalated to a gunpoint standoff like it did this weekend for a Tesla Model S driver in California.

On Saturday, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Department received a report of a possible kidnapping after someone was spotted loading a child into the trunk of a Model S in broad daylight.

The police quickly tracked down the vehicle and reportedly detained the driver at gunpoint. The driver was then able to prove that the child wasn’t kidnaped and was safely seating in the Model S’ rear-facing child seats.

When explaining the situation, Lt. Rob Hahnlein told Santa Clarita’s The Signal:

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

No, they are not. Though there have been similar situations with possible kidnapping reports where the police have been involved and it didn’t lead to the driver being detained at gunpoint. For example, this encounter from 2015 caught on camera:

Featured Image: Child seating in the trunk of a Tesla Model S with rear-facing seats – Wikimedia Common

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