An Edmonton man turned himself into police after a Global News story about a car-keying incident in our city.
Police said Austin Grabas, 20, is facing one count of mischief in relation to an incident last weekend where a Tesla was keyed.
The vehicle belongs to Global News editor Godwin Leung.
“I wasn’t thinking. I made a stupid mistake,” Grabas said.
The 20-year-old said he had been cut off Friday night by a black sedan and, when he saw Leung’s black vehicle Saturday, he thought it was the same vehicle.
“It doesn’t justify what I did,” Grabas said, adding he does not know Leung and has nothing against Teslas.
The Sentry Mode featured in the Model 3 Tesla that Leung drives features a monitoring system that turns surveillance cameras on when it senses movement nearby — and displays a warning that it is recording with a message on the main touchscreen in the vehicle.
Security video from the Tesla shows a man getting out of a pickup truck then keying the vehicle before turning around, getting into his truck and leaving the parking lot.
“Immediately I regretted it,” Grabas said, adding he became scared of the consequences.
“I’m just disappointed in myself right now.”
Grabas said he reached out to Leung and is paying for the damage done to the vehicle, which is estimated at around $1,600.
The Edmonton man saw the video posted online earlier this week and said he became overcome with disappointment and embarrassment. He turned himself into police on Thursday.
“I have to be accountable for my actions,” Grabas said about facing the mischief charge.
“It was a stupid, stupid mistake.”