Police Arrest Man Who Planned Attack At Tesla Event

Travis County, Texas, officials arrested a Florida man last week for allegedly planning a significant attack at a Tesla corporate event regarding the release of the Cybertruck in Austin. The event took place without incident and was attended by CEO Elon Musk.

Paul Ryan Overeem, 28, of Florida, allegedly made several terroristic threats under his anonymous online handle, “ufotnoitalumis.”

Among the direct threats Overeem posted was the following: “But yeah so at teh (sic) Tesla event I’m planning to attach (sic) so up to you guys to stop me… I plan on killing people at that even (sic) ok (sic) November 30th and I would like you do something about it so I don’t have to.” He also wrote, “I wanna die. My thoughts haven’t been free for over a year. All the electronics around me.”

Although it is difficult to discern what the obviously disturbed man meant by the “electronics around me,” authorities have said Overeem was “blaming technology” for his inability to express himself without resorting to violence.

Travis County Sheriff’s Detective Jennifer Borland told reporters the agency had determined through its investigation that Overeem had the ability to “carry out his threats of a mass casualty event.”

The sheriff’s department obtained Overeem’s identifying information through a search warrant served on Instagram based on the credible threats of immediate harm he made under his anonymous account. Officers later discovered Overeem’s Chevy Tahoe truck in Austin in the days before the Tesla event. They then pinged his mobile phone and determined that he was also in Austin at the time.

Travis County SWAT officers found Overeem in a local McDonald’s parking lot and arrested him without incident. Upon being detained, Overeem volunteered to tell officers that he had weapons inside his vehicle and told them he had planned on attacking the Tesla CEO individually and then committing suicide before he could be apprehended.

He reportedly told officers, “I was going to shoot up Elon Musk and the plant.”

After he was taken into custody, Overeem gave additional statements in which he admitted to making the online threats. He allegedly claimed that he believed Elon Musk had been tracking him through a secret surveillance camera.

Overeem has been charged with a third-degree state felony charge of making terroristic threats. He is currently being held at the Travis County Correctional Complex. His bond has been set at $300,000.

While the immediate threat to the Tesla Cybertruck event was averted by the fast work of law enforcement officials, the incident points out the growing concerns about online terror threats and security at high-profile public events.