Louisiana man outwitted by Tesla after ‘staging’ hit-and-run

And the Academy Award goes to … not this guy.

A Slidell, Louisiana man has admitted to staging a hit-and-run in a parking lot, claiming that a car backed into him causing multiple injuries.

The incident unfolded on Friday at about 4 p.m. when the Slidell Police Department responded to a call concerning a man who had been injured in an alleged hit-and-run. They found Arthur Bates Jr., 47, who said a Tesla driver had backed the car into him in a parking lot.

“Bates was complaining of back, leg and neck injuries, resulting in an ambulance and fire truck to be dispatched to the location,” the Slidell Police Department told WKRG 5 in Louisiana.

You see, you have to be smarter than the machine, which was not the case here. No criminal mastermind Lex Luthor for sure, Bates was already at a disadvantage. To make matters worse for him, the cameras on a Tesla are always recording, and with excellent resolution.

An investigation ensued, and once the driver was located he promptly cooperated with police, showing them the video.

“Unbeknownst to Bates, Tesla’s record all the footage of their cameras,” the police department said. “When Slidell Police officers reviewed the Tesla’s video footage, it became apparent that Bates was lying and staged the entire event.”

The video has no sound, but clearly shows Bates clumsily falling to the lot surface, with the Tesla driver performing a brief check on him before leaving. Bates appears to be smiling throughout the footage, which may have served to understate the seriousness of the situation and likely did not help with his audition.

He didn’t even have the careful planning to take a cue from Jussie Smollett and brandish a Subway sandwich bag or claim that the driver was wearing a MAGA hat. Total bush league effort on his part.

According to the driver, “Bates intentionally jumped behind his vehicle and staged the accident.”

The cops concurred with the driver’s assessment of the incident and summarily arrested the would-be thespian of stage and screen.

A 2020 article from Electrek describes the Tesla’s security features:

“Tesla released Sentry Mode through a software update to its fleet. It’s an integrated surveillance system inside Tesla’s vehicles using the Autopilot cameras around the car. The system detects events happening around the vehicle and starts recording them. If it detects a higher level of threats, like someone messing with the car, it will start the car’s alarm.”


Electrek also related a story in which Tesla Sentry Mode had aided police in the apprehension of a break-in suspect. While most of the automobile’s cameras are exterior and might deter future vandals and thieves, some Teslas are also equipped with cabin cameras that can track every move of the vehicle occupants in high-def, calling to mind questions of unmitigated surveillance amid privacy concerns.

Bates is facing one count of False Swearing with the Intent to Cause an Emergency Response.


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