Spy photographer assault!
One of the more exciting parts of the automotive world is the speculation that surrounds upcoming, yet-to-be-released models that is fueled mainly by spy photographers. Automotive manufacturers try their best to hide cars that are being tested from covering them in a wild white and black animal print to adding on foam-padded covers, and wrapping their new technology under a currently-produced body shell.
No matter what they do, they’re likely going to be caught in public as it’s a bit difficult to pile up everyday test miles on your own private track. This has evolved into a sort of paparazzi-style business where photographers search out and photograph test cars and sell them. They’re not as bad as their celebrity-stalking counterparts who would kill to photograph every second of a celebrity’s life. Keep in mind, automakers will sometimes deliberately send camouflaged cars out in public, knowing that they will be photographed and generate hype.
While they’re not as bad, we can see how some would get on the nerves of engineers trying to work and gather test data on a car as somebody is constantly following you. But, that isn’t a good enough reason for assault, and that’s exactly what happened to KGB Photographer, Brian Williams.
As he was filming what appears to be a Volvo XC40, the engineer driving the car gets mad and comes after Williams, grabbing him and his camera, and breaks the lens. This is how things happened according to Williams on Jalopnik:
I was filming the Volvo XC40 testing in the Rockies when the engineer lost it. He decided that I had filmed enough and wanted to break my camcorder. My wife was in the car so it made things a little interesting. After the video ends he approached my wife at which point I said “If you go near her I’ll knock you out” and at that point he came to his senses.
I told him that you can’t just attack people for videoing in public and told him that I knew he was here on a visa. He started apologizing and explained that he gets chewed out every time the car gets video’d/photographed, but his bosses don’t understand that you can’t hide a car that looks like a zebra.
I told him I wouldn’t show the video to local police, and I never saw him again. I ended up having a bruise on my arm for about two weeks.
FAIL on you Mr. Engineer. You can’t be assaulting photographers like that.