CHP Says Driverless Tesla Suspect was Cited Before

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 Tuesday, 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.


  1. Great job CHP! Thanks for taking this lunatic off the roads!

    When he goes to court, the judge should allow the CHP to get real time notices of the whereabouts of his car so that the CHP can check on him to make certain he doesn’t do it again.

  2. You gotta google this guy, he sounds like a real piece of work. Entitled and arrogant does not even closely define him. It’d be interesting if someone wanted to do a deep dive on him and his upbringing. He bought a new Tesla right after his release from jail and was pulling the same crap…..

    “What I think you’ll see is his first court date is the judge give him a very stern warning and say, ‘You are not to drive unless you’re in the driver’s seat of your vehicle. And if you do, we’re gonna put you back in jail,'” said Steven Clark, a Santa Clara County-based legal analyst. In response, Sharma said, “I’ll just get a new Tesla every time. I have unlimited money to blow on Teslas. If you take my Tesla away, I will get another Tesla.”

    There is something seriously wrong with this guy.

  3. “I’ll just get a new Tesla every time. I have unlimited money to blow on Teslas. If you take my Tesla away, I will get another Tesla.”

    OK, then he stays in jail, no bail, as a likely danger to society. Problem solved, with or without psych hold as backup, “unlimited money” or not.

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