A man who claimed on social media to be the driver behind a viral Tesla stunt in Echo Park on Sunday morning appeared to be enjoying the attention from his newfound online fame, but quickly grew cautious when a reporter questioned him about it, KTLA reports.
The video shows a black Tesla speeding up a steep hill in a residential area of Echo Park, near Baxter and Alvarado streets, before going airborne, then crashing into several trash cans and two parked vehicles, the Los Angeles Police Department said Sunday. Authorities said they are offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the daring driver.
Dominykas Zeglaitis, who goes by Durte Dom on social media, reportedly posted several videos on TikTok claiming that he was the driver of the black 2018 Tesla S-BLM, which was a rental vehicle. Those videos have since been deleted from his page.
When a KTLA reporter visited his home on Monday and asked if he was the driver of the vehicle, he responded: “Man, shit was crazy out there. I don’t even know what was going on.”
When asked if he was actually the driver or if he was just claiming to be in order to achieve online clout, Zeglaitis turned to the camera and said, “I mean I don’t know. You can’t believe what you see online always, so you gotta be careful out there.” As he spoke, a man who was standing behind him in the doorway, appeared to be filming the interaction.
He grew more coy when the reporter asked him a final time if he was the person behind the wheel. “I’m not saying anything, my lawyers told me not to talk about it,” he said.
Although he chose not to speak explicitly about the Tesla stunt to reporters, he has been candid on social media.
In one TikTok video, which has since been deleted from TikTok, Zeglaitis said that he was under the influence of marijuana edibles at the time of the crash. But when the KTLA reporter asked him about it, he replied: no comment.
The alleged prankster also posted a video of him laughing at the KTLA story posted Sunday, which reported that police were offering a reward for information on the driver. In the video, he amusingly points at a screenshot of the story and waves what appears to be a toy car keychain in a motion to depict the viral stunt, as NWA’s “Fuck the Police” plays in the background.
Although Zeglaitis has put in a tremendous amount of effort to convince people that he was the driver, witnesses who were present at the time of the crash are saying otherwise, police said.
“The reason that we think it wasn’t him is because people who were there and who have been trying to help us out on the case said [he’s] not the person who was driving,” LAPD Officer Ed McGowan, who is investigating the case for the department’s Central Traffic Division, told Los Angeles. “Even though they don’t want to be identified, they’re telling us that’s not the person who was driving.”
McGowan said Zeglaitis could potentially be the driver, but as of right now, investigators don’t think so. “I think he’s doing it more for his [social media] account,” he said.
McGowan also told Los Angeles that Zeglaitis “has an attorney, so he’s not responding at this time.”
Because the Tesla involved in the stunt was a rental, authorities haven’t confirmed whether the person who rented the vehicle was behind the wheel or if it was someone else. Police haven’t been able to get in touch with the renter yet, McGowan said.
When asked if the department has dealt with people pretending to be involved in criminal acts such as this viral stunt, McGowan said that it doesn’t happen often as people try to typically avoid legal action.
In good news, Jordan Hood, whose Subaru was totaled after it was hit by the Tesla during the stunt, has raised $20,140 via a GoFundMe campaign to purchase a new vehicle.
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