Minnesota man accused of making terroristic threat toward Tesla, arrested in Austin

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — A Minnesota man was arrested in Austin over the weekend after court documents said he made a terroristic threat towards Tesla, social media platform ‘X,’ as well as other entities.

On Saturday, Jan. 27, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to the Tesla Gigafactory, located at 13101 Tesla Road, for a report of a terroristic threat. According to a search warrant, an unknown person made threats on social media. That person was later identified as Justin Mathew McCauley, 31.

The threats were made by McCauley on Jan 14, court records said.

‘I will arrive in Texas, where the war has began on many fronts @X, @Tesla’ and ‘@JoeBiden @X @Tesla @Elonmusk, I am planning to Kill all of you.”

Threats allegedly made by Justin McCauley

KXAN has reached out to McCauley’s attorney and will update this article if a statement is received.

TCSO learned through other law enforcement agencies that McCauley was at a hotel in Oklahoma. He told law enforcement that he was “trying to get a hold of and talk to the President of the United States,” according to court records.

Law enforcement did not arrest McCauley after they said he did not meet the criteria for emergency detention, court documents said. However, law enforcement began coordinating with a Secret Service field agent in Dallas to go to the hotel. But by the time the field agent arrived, McCauley had already checked out of the hotel, according to the search warrant.

Further into the investigation, law enforcement spoke with a family member of McCauley who said he worked at Tesla in Minnesota but was on workers’ compensation due to an injury, court documents said.

On Sunday, Jan. 28, a TCSO deputy in an unmarked van was following McCauley as he was driving on Interstate 35 in Austin, court documents said. McCauley was pulled over by a TCSO patrol unit for going 75 mph in a 65 mph zone in the 13600 block of North I-35. Another person was in the passenger seat with McCauley, but court documents said that person “had no involvement” in McCauley’s threats. That person was released from the scene, according to the affidavit.

McCauley was questioned on the scene, and he told law enforcement he “was traveling from Minnesota because he needs to get away from there.” Furthermore, he said he was “going to the Tesla Giga Factory” and claimed to know a secret entrance and “wanted to speak with Elon Musk and provide him with a password only he would know about,” according to the affidavit.

Tesla Giga Texas is off State Highway 130 near the Austin airport.

McCauley was arrested and charged with terroristic threat, which is a third-degree felony. He was booked into the Travis County Jail on a $20,000 bond, according to court records.

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