An eyewitness who shot video on his cellphone of the dangerous and illegal jump that a Tesla made Sunday in Echo Park spoke to CBSLA.
In the video, Alex Choi can be seen wearing red as the Tesla catches air over the intersection of Alvarado and Baxter Streets early Sunday morning, at around 12:10 a.m.
"It's never a good thing to see the bottom of a car," Choi told CBSLA.
Choi, an automobile influencer, said the look on his face doesn't begin to show what he was thinking.
"You can see my facial expression. I was in absolute shock. I went through 20-30 seconds of panic, thinking that those people are very, very badly injured or even dead or they could have ran over somebody else."
Remarkably, nobody was hurt, though the crash totaled two other cars parked on the street, according to the Los Angeles police department.
Neighbors recorded the occupants getting out of the wrecked Tesla and fleeing the scene in another.
Choi said that he is now catching a lot of heat because he posted the video of the stunt to his popular YouTube page.
"Really, the cameras don't do it any justice, that noise was like a bomb going off."
Neighbor Jonathan Sutak, though, was furious that influencers like Choi were glorifying potentially deadly stunts.
"It's an issue with drivers and it's an issue of this community of YouTubers who really don't care about property owners. They just care about YouTube likes," Sutak said
Choi told CBSLA that he only posted the video because people were saying he was behind the wheel of the Tesla.
"To let people know it wasn't me. I'm not that stupid," he said.
The automobile influencer claimed he had no idea the driver was going to jump, and that they only met at a Tesla car show, organized by Choi, earlier that night.
"I had a random guy pull up next to me and say, 'Hey, you wanna see the spot where David Dobrik jumped his Tesla?' Absolutely no mention of the fact that he was going to do it himself, and so, I said, 'Sure,'" Choi told CBSLA. "The moment I got there, didn't even give me a second to ask him a question, no test runs, didn't even bother to look at what's on the other side of the road. He drove down to the bottom of the street. I got out of my car, like, 'Oh, wow. He's really doing this, like, he's really going to do this.'"
Pushed by CBSLA reporter Laurie Perez on whether he feels any responsibility for "influencing" stunts by publicizing them, he claimed this was the first time he's seen and posted a stunt from an open, public street.
"Most of my other stunts, I'd like to let people know that was all done in a very controlled space. If I posted anything that might appear as if it was on a public road, it was all closed down. It's definitely not something that should ever be repeated."
One of the neighbors, Jordan Hook, whose Subaru was crashed into has a GoFundMe Campaign to help with repairs or buy a new car. Choi said he made a sizable donation to that campaign.
LAPD is offering a reward for information about the driver, though Choi said police have yet to contact him, adding that he's happy to show them his videos, but that beyond that, he doesn't know anything about the driver.
Anybody with information on the incident was urged to contact Detective Juan Campos or Central Traffic Detectives at (213) 833-3713.
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