CHP Says Driverless Tesla Suspect Had Been Cited Before

May 12, 2021 10:00 am · 34 comments

A man suspected of being cruising around the Bay Area in the backseat of a driverless Tesla has been arrested, the California Highway Patrol said, noting that he had also been cited late last month.

Param Sharma, 25, was arrested and booked into Santa Rita Jail on two counts of reckless driving and disobeying a peace officer, the CHP Golden Gate Division said.

The CHP on Saturday shared two photos on its Facebook page that show a man in the back seat of the car and what looked like an empty driver’s seat, saying it was aware of the “unusual situation” and asking the public to report any similar sightings.

The CHP said it received numerous calls Monday evening reporting someone riding in the backseat of a Tesla Model 3 with nobody at the wheel as it traveled eastbound on Interstate Highway 80 across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge toward Oakland.

A CHP officer at the toll plaza located the car, confirmed the lone person in the backseat and made an enforcement stop, the agency said.

“The officer observed the individual move into the driver’s seat,” the CHP said. “The occupant then brought the Tesla to a stop on the shoulder of I-80 eastbound just west of Powell Street, where the officer arrested Sharma.”

Sharma had previously been cited “for similar behavior” on April 27, the CHP said.

Shoulda Coulda May 12, 2021 at 10:53 AM

Looks like this idiot is the ultimate backseat driver.

Hayden Barsotti May 12, 2021 at 11:00 AM

You’re right…he is an idiot!!!

RANDOM TASK May 12, 2021 at 10:57 AM

and whats the problem

i would think this guys judgement is flawed so better he is not behind the wheel…..

besides what will the DA do he is obviously not white so he will be pleaded down and back in his vehicle anyways

you allow vehicles with autonomous driving

what did you think would happen ….

get over it

sam malone May 12, 2021 at 10:58 AM

From the smirk on his face he could careless that he has broken the law 2 times at least seen breaking the law. They should take away his license permanently since he does not seem to drive his vehicle. He should also be fined steep enough to make an impression.

He doesn’t care about anyone else’s safety. But then again we live in California where anything goes these days.

What a loser.

American Citizen May 12, 2021 at 11:06 AM

Should have made the vehicle stop on the bridge. Then thrown him off.

DrvrdadCA May 13, 2021 at 4:19 PM

Best response

russ sayin May 12, 2021 at 11:20 AM

Bad Karma for Sharma

Plinko May 12, 2021 at 7:33 PM

And now there are 2 idiots.

Original G May 12, 2021 at 11:24 AM

Seems rather simple, if he’s not driving, he doesn’t need a drivers license.

Janus May 12, 2021 at 12:26 PM

Seems rather simple: If he doesn’t have a driver license then he doesn’t need a vehicle and the State should seize it for forfeiture.

Cowellian May 12, 2021 at 11:27 AM

Slow Learner:

California Driver Arrested for Riding in Backseat of Self-Driving Tesla Plans to Do it Again

I doubt he’ll stop until he’s either locked up or injures himself or someone else.

Ricardoh May 12, 2021 at 11:28 AM

In today’s world this guy was bound to happen. I get shocked by nothing. Stay tuned more idiots to follow with tricks of their own.

ChuckStir May 12, 2021 at 11:32 AM

It appears that getting arrested in not a deterrent for him. We will have to wait until he causes an accident I guess.

Doh May 12, 2021 at 11:37 AM

Throw the ***** book at him and take away his drivers license.

Ricardoh May 12, 2021 at 1:00 PM

Here lies the rub. Is he driving? I guess so. I was a little curious how he got to the front seat when the police pulled him over. Must have been a scramble.

chuckie the troll May 12, 2021 at 11:47 AM

I guess we should vote on a punishment:
1) Place his unattended and unlocked Tesla in the worst section of Antioch or Oakland for a week as a ‘test’.
2) Place Sharma in a local crosswalk and let driverless vehicles pass in his direction.
3) Make Sharma the star attraction at a piñata party, attended by victims of distracted driving.

And remember, only vote once!

RTC May 12, 2021 at 4:19 PM

I vote for #1.

Jeff May 12, 2021 at 11:50 AM

Any fine or penalty imposed will be overturned in 1,2,3 years when autonomous driving is approved.


Martinezmike May 12, 2021 at 11:53 AM

So if the car is driverless, how do you issue a driving infraction? What happens when two idiots are in the back seat?

Chicken Little May 12, 2021 at 12:47 PM

Interesting point. the vehicle code specifically says “drive”, not “operate”. So it would really come down to what the definition of “driving” is. I know that for purposes of DUI, a sole vehicle occupant in the back seat is considered to be driving (with some exceptions) even if the vehicle is parked.

I would love to see how this plays out in court.

chuckie the troll May 12, 2021 at 12:56 PM

Since the car was driving without a license, I guess they will cite Tesla, rather than the idiot in the back seat who knew he was breaking the law. Kleptofornica always goes after the Big Bucks.

Darwin May 12, 2021 at 11:54 AM

I wish they would put this kind of energy into the people who Burned Looted and Murdered for almost 9 months.

chuckie the troll May 12, 2021 at 12:58 PM

They put a lot of energy into protecting people who loot, assault, commit arson and murder FROM prosecution. You can thank Becton and her “Magic Wand”, you know, the one she used at her backyard wedding.

Reality says... May 12, 2021 at 12:11 PM

A technology created problem that can be solved with technology as well.

paul barnesd May 12, 2021 at 12:52 PM

Tow his car, mandatory 30 day hold for reckless driving, so he cant get it back.

Pyrrhus May 12, 2021 at 2:26 PM

Which is hilarious because he’s driving a model 3.

Janus May 13, 2021 at 3:37 PM

Even more hilarious.

On Wednesday, Param Sharma bailed himself out of Santa Rita, purchased another Tesla and rode in the backseat to an interview with KTVU news to talk about his arrests.

“I have unlimited money to blow on Teslas. If you take away my Tesla, I will get another Tesla. That’s how it works,” Sharma said.

I foresee the CHP obtaining a No Bail/No Cite warrant for Sharma under the “likely to continue” exception. Let see how cavalier Sharma is when he gets arrested, taken to county jail, dressed out, assigned to protective custody and waits in jail like the “blue collar” people he looks down upon, for his next court appearance…

The Wizard May 12, 2021 at 3:38 PM

What a Jackass

The Fearless Spectator May 12, 2021 at 4:47 PM

And he’s obviously single! Get in line ladies!

remember May 12, 2021 at 5:37 PM

put him in jail for a good long time, revoke his drivers license and sell his car

The Wizard May 13, 2021 at 7:17 AM

He said on the news if they take his car he will buy another. It must be nice.

JazzMan May 13, 2021 at 5:25 AM

Thinks cuz he’s rich he can do as he pleases. He has publicly scorned others who have less $$$ than him. He cares nothing about anything but himself. Pull his license, impound his car (with his money it won’t matter how long), and jail him for the maximum the law allows.

Aunt Barbara May 13, 2021 at 12:23 PM

ill gotten gains for sure!

sam Malone May 13, 2021 at 7:43 AM

New reported he stated to law enforcement “I am very rich”.

Guess you can’t buy common sense or brains no matter how many assets you have. He can pay for a chauffeur so take away car-impound it to pay down the state’s debt or better yet give it to a homeless person to live in and not allow this foolish idiot to ever drive again.

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