Brandon Collado is the man Elon Musk accused of stalking him in a video posted by the Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter CEO to his 122 million Twitter followers. Musk asked his followers to help identify the person he said was a stalker who had targeted his child.
Collado, an Uber Eats driver from California, was named as the car driver in the video by The Washington Post’s Taylor Lorenz and Drew Harwell on December 18, 2022.
The authors wrote that they had identified Collado as the car’s driver after discovering he rented the vehicle through a car-sharing service named Turo. The Post reported that Collado confirmed he was the man in the video.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Musk Wrote That a Car Carrying His Child ‘X’ Was ‘Followed by Crazy Stalker’ in Los Angeles
Musk connected the incident involving his child to a Twitter account called @ElonJet, run by college student Jack Sweeney. The account tracked Musk’s private plane using publicly available data. After tweeting the video of the stalking incident, Musk and Twitter changed the social media site’s rules to ban tracking of real-time location data, including jet trackers like the one run by Sweeney.
Musk also blamed the account for the stalking incident, tweeting on December 14, “Last night, car carrying lil X in LA was followed by crazy stalker (thinking it was me), who later blocked car from moving & climbed onto hood. Legal action is being taken against Sweeney & organizations who supported harm to my family.” But The Washington Post reported that police do not believe there is any connection between Sweeney and the jet tracker and the incident involving Collado.
“Any account doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation,” Musk had tweeted about @ElonJet. “This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info. Posting locations someone traveled to on a slightly delayed basis isn’t a safety problem, so is ok.” Several journalists were suspended from Twitter after posting about the ElonJet controversy. Musk later lifted those suspensions. Sweeney’s account remains banned.
Musk shared a video showing Collado to his 122 million Twitter followers. He tweeted, “Anyone recognize this person or car?” The video showed the man identified by the Post as Collado, along with the license plate of the car.
Sweeney is the college student whose account @ElonJet had tracked Musk’s private jet. He has vowed to continue doing so even though Musk banned his Twitter account, he wrote in a Newsweek op-ed. “If I give up, Musk wins,” it’s headlined.
2. Collado Told The Post That He Believes Musk’s Off & On Girlfriend, Grimes, Is ‘Sending Him Coded Messages’
The Post interviewed Collado, who told the newspaper that he was interested in Musk and Grimes, the musician and some-time girlfriend of Musk who is the mother of two of Musk’s kids. Grimes’ real name is Claire Boucher.
Grimes lives near the gas station where the video was recorded by Musk’s security team, The Post reported.
Collado told The Post he drives for Uber Eats and was in the neighborhood for that reason. He also claimed Grimes was “sending him coded messages through her Instagram posts; that Musk was monitoring his real-time location; and that Musk could control Uber Eats to block him from receiving delivery orders,” the Post reported.
According to the Post, Grimes has been stalked recently by a man, and police are investigating whether it’s Collado. Police told the Post that Collado tried to conceal his identity.
3. The Post Reported That Police Believe Sweeney’s @ElonJets Account Had Nothing to Do With the Collado Incident; Musk Has Repeatedly Raised Concerns That He Is Being ‘Doxxed,’ Endangering His Family
The Post story alleged that Los Angeles police do not believe the now-suspended Twitter account @ElonJet was linked to the Collado incident but rather believe stalkers often use open-source data. Musk has alleged that the @ElonJet account is endangering his and his family’s safety and criticized journalists for retweeting the @ElonJets information.
“The journalists were aware of the violent stalker and yet still doxxed the real-time location of my family. Turns out that’s a criminal offense,” Musk wrote on Twitter on December 17, 2022.
After conducting a poll on Twitter, he lifted suspensions against some of the journalists, writing, “The people have spoken. Accounts who doxxed my location will have their suspension lifted now.”
Musk also wrote, “If anyone posted real-time locations & addresses of NYT reporters, FBI would be investigating, there’d be hearings on Capitol Hill & Biden would give speeches about end of democracy!”
According to The Washington Post, the incident “occurred in South Pasadena, a Los Angeles suburb, on Tuesday at about 9:45 p.m.,” December 13, 2022.
South Pasadena police went to the gas station but did not arrest anyone, The Post reported.
The Los Angeles Police Department’s Threat Management Unit “was in contact with Musk’s representatives and security team,” The Post reported, but no crime report was filed, at least not yet.
4. Musk Banned One of the Story’s Authors, Taylor Lorenz, From Twitter
@taylorlorenz What happened to FREE SPEECH??!!! #elonmusk #twitter #tech #technews #musk #technology #journalist #news ♬ My Heart Will Go On (Titanic) – Maliheh Saeedi & Faraz Taali
The day before the story ran, Musk suddenly banned one of the story’s authors, Lorenz, from Twitter.
Lorenz tweets at @TaylorLorenz.
Her page read, “Account suspended. Twitter suspends accounts that violate the Twitter Rules.”
Lorenz later recorded a TikTok video, saying she was banned permanently from Twitter but did not know why. She captioned it, “What happened to FREE SPEECH??!!!”
Lorenz later wrote a lengthy post on her Substack page. “Twitter has served as an essential real time news source and played a crucial role in the journalism world, but Musk’s arbitrary suspensions of journalists who report on him should worry anyone who values journalism and free expression,” she wrote.
In the TikTok video, Lorenz said, “Hey guys, The rumors are true. I have been permanently suspended by Twitter. I was given zero reason.”
She said she “only had three tweets on my account. Two of them were promoting my other social media channels.”
She mentioned her Instagram page, Substack account, and YouTube channel.
“I was suddenly logged out. I just had those two tweets and a tweet where I asked Elon for comment today, revealing zero information,” she says in the TikTok video.
“Super crazy. Elon seems to be banning anyone he disagrees with, and I certainly did not violate any terms that I was aware of.”
Lorenz has also been accused of doxxing, including by the site Libs of TikTok.
5. Collado Tweeted at Musk, ‘I am the Guy in This Video’
According to The Post, Collado tweeted at Musk, “I am the guy in this video … You have connections to me and have stalked me and my family for over a year.”
Obviously, there is no evidence presented that Musk has stalked Collado and his family.
The Post noted that celebrities have legitimate reason to be concerned about stalkers. For example, actress Rebecca Schaefer was famously murdered by one, leading California to enact the country’s first anti-stalking law.
To be convicted of stalking, the government must show the following, according to Kann Law Office:
Harassed/Followed: You willfully and maliciously harassed or willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly followed another person; AND, Credible Threat/Intent/Fear: You made a credible threat with the intent of placing the person in reasonable fear for his or her safety or for the safety of his or her immediate family
READ NEXT: The University of Idaho Students Who Were Murdered in Moscow, Idaho