Storey County’s District Attorney Anne Langer filed charges yesterday against Reno Gazette-Journal (RGJ) reporter Jason Hidalgo and photographer Andy Barron.
Barron faces two counts of misdemeanor battery and one misdemeanor count of trespassing.
“The above-named defendant did … unlawfully use force and violence upon … Ian Langtry, by putting a vehicle in reverse and backing up rapidly striking Langtry in the torso and forcefully pushing him to the ground causing abrasions…,” Langer wrote. “The … defendant did … unlawfully use force and violence upon the person of Michael Ochs, by driving a vehicle forward, pushing Ochs backwards where he fell to the ground causing abrasions…”
Hidalgo faces one misdemeanor count of trespassing.
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Langer wrote that both
“did, on or about October 9, 2015, willfully and unlawfully, remain on any land after having been warned by the owner or occupant thereof not to trespass, with sufficient warning against trespassing, to wit: at the Tesla Factory, said warning made by painting with fluorescent orange paint the top 12 inches of the exterior portion of a post, whether made of wood metal or other material, at intervals of not more than 200 feet; and each corner of the land, upon or near the boundary and/ or said area was fenced, some of which occurred at or near the Tesla Factory…”
Tesla spokesperson Ricardo Reyes said the company was pleased with the D.A.’s actions.
“We are pleased that the District Attorney has taken quick action and is pursuing justice for Tesla employees who were assaulted by RGJ employees trespassing on private property,” he said. “We plan to cooperate fully as she proceeds with this case.”
RGJ’s Executive Editor, Kelly Ann Scott, said that the RGJ is not commenting at this time.
RGJ previously, through its attorney Scott Glogovac, wrote a letter to Tesla– which was originally published in RGJ’s article about the incident, but now appears to have been removed from its website — condemning Tesla’s response to the incident.
“Tesla has already (claimed) that the RGJ employees trespassed on Tesla property, but even if they trespassed, that didn’t give Tesla the right to attempt to detain or apprehend the employees in the manner it did: smashing a window, brandishing a knife, physically manhandling the photographer,” he wrote.
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.
Once the Sheriff’s Department arrived on the scene, they arrested one of the RGJ employees for two counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon and advised that both will be charged with trespassing.
We appreciate the interest in the Gigafactory, but the repeated acts of trespassing, including by those working for the RGJ, is illegal, dangerous and needs to stop. In particular, we will not stand for assaults on our employees and are working with law enforcement to investigate this incident and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.