After the California Highway Patrol alerted locals of a man who seemed to be riding from the backseat of his Tesla Model 3 while the car’s autopilot barreled down the highway, the CHP caught the man responsible on Tuesday, booking him into a local jail and towing his car from the scene. A day later, that man’s back on the street, and back in the backseat of a shiny new Tesla, pulling the same stunt.
Despite being charged on two counts of reckless driving, and one charge of disobeying an officer, 25-year-old Param Sharma rolled up to an interview with a local Fox affiliate on Thursday to boast about how his driving isn’t as dangerous as the CHP and local residents would have you believe. In fact, he claims he’d actually used the backseat of a friend’s Tesla to ride home after spending the night in Santa Rita Jail.
“I’ve been brake-checked before really hard, and the car stopped. The car came to a complete stop,” he told KTVU on Thursday. “Elon Musk really knows what he’s doing and I think people are tripping and they’re scared.”
When asked if Sharma just… bought a new Tesla after his last one was impounded, he told the outlet that he’s “very rich,” and that he has “unlimited money to blow on Teslas.”
None of this is new for Sharma, who first began his incredibly tacky rise to Instagram fame as a junior in high school under the moniker “Lavish.” In one interview with The Huffington Post at the time, he said that his hobbies included “finding ways to blow money and yachting,” and revealed that — as you might have guessed — this was all his parent’s money.
He’s only gotten better with age. Videos posted to Sharma’s Instagram account feature gems in the captions like “You guys r all cheap poor low class peasants that can’t afford lambo trucks,” and “My Cartier bracelet hoe.”
California law dictates that cars featuring autopilot functions like the Tesla Model 3 need to have someone behind the wheel (at least for now). According to KTVU, last week’s incident was the second time officers caught Sharma driving down public roads with no driver at the wheel.
When asked about his backseat habit, Sharma just explained to KTVU that he “[feels] safer back here than I do up there.” His next court date is set for early July.