Arthur Bates Jr., a 47-year-old Louisiana native who claimed that he was hit by a Tesla, was found to be a fraud after dashcam footage revealed that the entire incident was staged.
According to Police, Arthur Bates Jr. alleged that the Tesla vehicle injured him when it was backing out of a gas station parking lot, causing him to fall over. Calling “911,” Bates reported that he was suffering from back, neck, and leg injuries from a “hit and run” accident. First responders quickly arrived to tend to the claims. The incident occurred at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, in Slidell, just outside New Orleans.
Police tracked down the vehicle, which Bates said fled after hitting him, as an ambulance and fire truck arrived on the scene. Once authorities found the vehicle, the driver told the officers that Arthur Bates Jr. had faked the accident by falling behind the car, which Dash Cam footage would prove.
Unbeknownst to Bates, the electric vehicle’s camera had a 360-degree lens, capturing his entire faked fall. “When Slidell Police officers reviewed the vehicle’s video footage, it became apparent that Bates was lying and staged the entire event,” authorities later said.
In the video, publicly released by the police department, Bates is shown clearly throwing himself on the ground behind the car. The driver talks to him shortly after, kicking his foot off of the back of his car before driving away.
Hoping to take advantage of the electric vehicle’s recent stories of accidents with emergency vehicles, Bates rested on the ground behind the car with his leg up, thinking that he had successfully pulled off the scam.
Last month, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced an investigation into Tesla’s autopilot system, which was accused of 11 crashes resulting in 17 injuries and one death.
Tesla has also come under fire for over 100 accidents due to “sudden unintended acceleration” and a recall of over 5,500 vehicles for poorly attached front safety belts, reports claimed. The same morning that the probe was announced, Tesla stock fell 5%.
“The cabin camera above the rearview mirror can now detect and alert driver inattentiveness,” Tesla announced back in May. According to Tech Crunch, Tesla car systems, “use a combination of map data, high-precision GPS, cameras and radar sensors, as well as a driver attention system that monitors the person behind the wheel.”
“Stop doing stupid s**t around a Tesla,” one commenter wrote. “Lotsa cameras inside and out.”
“The true #Emmy winner,” said another.
Four days ago, a Tesla did actually hit a man in Long Island, N.Y. According to The New York Police Department, a 52-year-old man was hit by an electric vehicle while changing a flat tire on the side of the Long Island Expressway in Queens. His name was revealed as Jean Louis, from Cambria Heights, N.Y.
The driver remained at the scene after the autopilot hit the man, who died at the scene. According to authorities, the death brought the total fatalities up to 12 and was added to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s report.
In a review of the vehicle’s autopilot in Road & Track, the site called the function, “laughably bad and potentially dangerous.” Luckily, the Tesla driver did not actually hit Bates after he jumped in front of the electric vehicle.
Arthur Bates Jr. later admitted to lying about being struck by the Tesla and was arrested shortly after for falsifying a police report. According to authorities, Bates could face up to a fine of $1,000 and five years of imprisonment for False Swearing with the Intent to Cause an Emergency Response.