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A wild Tesla crash in LA has gone viral. Police want to find the driver

Dominykas Zeglaitis, also known as Durte Dom, initially claimed responsibility for the crash on TikTok. Other influencers said he wasn’t even there.
/ Source: NBC News

Los Angeles police are looking for the person behind a recent stunt captured on video in which a driver of a Tesla sped over a hill and crashed into two other vehicles.

Police officials initially offered a $1,000 reward for information about the person behind the crash. But they have since asked the public to stop calling into their tip line to report influencer Dominykas Zeglaitis, also known as Durte Dom, as a suspect.

“We have received over 50 tips and anticipate more due the story going viral,” officials said in a tweet from the @LAPDCTD account. “Over 90% of the tips are of the same person who has a TikTok handle of @dominykas or @durtedom on Twitter. He is considered a person of interest based on the public postings on his account.”

Zeglaitis, a controversial social media personality who was once part of influencer David Dobrik’s Vlog Squad, initially posted videos of the incident to his social media accounts, including TikTok, claiming to be part of the crash. After some influencers disputed his involvement, he posted a YouTube video saying his claims were part of a prank.

Zeglaitis did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Police said they have reached out to him on social media.

Zeglaitis claimed responsibility for the incident on his TikTok profile, where he had 2.7 million followers, which now appears to be deleted.

“I just crashed my new Tesla,” he wrote in text that appeared over video of him behind the wheel before a shot of the car flying through the air.

The video has been removed from TikTok. Before it was removed, it had amassed more than 11 million views. A spokesperson for TikTok directed NBC News to the platform’s community guidelines against dangerous acts and challenges, which state that the platform does not permit “users to share content depicting, promoting, normalizing or glorifying dangerous acts that may lead to serious injury or death.”

In another video, Zeglaitis claimed he was intoxicated while driving. He also posted a video mocking the Los Angeles Police Department, writing, “LAPD didn’t like my stunt,” with the song “F--- Tha Police” by N.W.A. playing in the background. His most recent video on the account was a clip of a news report about the stunt in which he captions the TikTok video “look mom i’m famous.”

Police have not released a description of the driver. The crash is believed to have taken place early Sunday in Los Angeles’ Echo Park.

Baxter Street, where the incident occurred, is considered the steepest hill in Los Angeles, and it has been a site for those looking to record dangerous stunts.

In videos of the incident, the person behind the wheel drives a rented 2018 Tesla S-BLM over a road with a steep decline, going so fast that the car becomes airborne as it breaches the hill. It then comes crashing down onto the ground, with pieces of the car shattering and detaching as onlookers record.

Police say the car hit trash cans and two other vehicles. The Tesla was abandoned at the scene. Police have deemed the incident a misdemeanor hit-and-run.

Some said Zeglaitis wasn’t at the scene, before he admitted it himself

Zeglaitis has been at the center of controversy before.

In March 2021, Insider published a report including rape allegations that an anonymous woman made against Zeglaitis. Insider gave the accuser the alias “Hannah.” Hannah said Zeglaitis had sex with her in November 2018 when she was drunk to the point of “blacking out” and unable to consent. In September, Zeglaitis denied the rape allegations in a YouTube video.

In November, two more women accused Zeglaitis of sexual misconduct in another Insider article. Zeglaitis has not responded to any other specific allegations of sexual misconduct, but in 2017 he apologized to unnamed women who he said he had aggressively sexually pursued.

Zeglaitis, who has continued to post stunts and pranks on TikTok and YouTube, has also used his accounts to share videos of wild stunts, which he sometimes falsely claims as his own.

Before Zeglaitis admitted that his claims were part of a prank, some influencers claimed he wasn’t present when the Tesla stunt occurred and that he stole the video to gain clout.

Police said that while 90 percent of the tips they have received have been about Zeglaitis, the other 10 percent have been about car YouTubers Alex Choi and Chaz Warren, both of whom shared videos of the incident to their social media accounts.

“this new flying tesla software update is going crazy,” Choi wrote in a video of the car.

Choi later posted to his Instagram story saying Zeglaitis was not present when the stunt happened.

“DURTE DOM DID NOT JUMP THE TESLA,” he wrote. “Not sure why he’s lying to everyone and saying he did ... I was there, saw everything and he wasn’t even there.”

Choi and Warren did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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