TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – Tempe police say a man who was involved in a crash with a Waymo van with self-driving capabilities drove recklessly on purpose to cause the wreck. It happened at about 10:30 the night of Thursday, Jan. 30, near Rural and Warner roads.
Although the Waymo van can operate autonomously, it was in manual mode at the time. The driver was hurt in the crash, but their injuries were minor.
Fast forward two weeks: Police on Thursday announced the arrest of Raymond Tang, 31, saying that he "intentionally drove recklessly around the Waymo vehicles in an attempt to cause a collision."
[ORIGINAL STORY: Driverless Waymo van involved in Tempe crash]
Investigators have video from the Waymo van that was involved in the crash, as well as from another Waymo vehicle that was in the area. "On-board video from both Waymo vehicles showed Raymond moving his vehicle in front of them and then 'braking hard' to a stop in an apparent attempt to force the vehicles to rear-end his vehicle," the Tempe Police Department said. That's eventually what happened. Police say Tang later "admitted to 'brake-checking' the Waymo vehicle" that rear-ended him.
Video from that Waymo van shows Tang's car repeatedly swerving in front of it. You can see how abruptly he brakes until the van rear-ended him. Two other clips released by the Tempe Police Department show similar driving behavior leading up to the crash.
Arizona's Family spoke to Tang's father, June Tang, on Thursday.
"Does that seem like something he would do to you?" asked reporter Briana Whitney.
"Definitely don’t think so. He’s a very kind person, a very kind person," June said.
June said he spoke to his son on the phone from jail Thursday.
"He was crying and he said the police are crazy," he said.
[WATCH: Car 'brake checks' Waymo vehicle]
Waymo released a statement about the crash not long after it happened, saying then that it was "a result of the reckless driving of the other individual."
Police say Tang used to be a Genesis10 vehicle operator assigned to Waymo until about a year ago. According to a Waymo statement that described Tang as "a disgruntled former Genesis10 vehicle operator," his assignment ended "when he failed to meet the high safety standards." Genesis10 is national firm that provides staffing solutions in the technology industry; it has an office in Phoenix.
Tang now faces felony charges of aggravated assault and criminal damage and misdemeanor charges of endangerment and reckless driving. What's more, the Chandler Police Department is investigating him in connection "additional incidents similar in nature, possibly involving Raymond Tang specifically targeting Waymo vehicles."
Waymo confirmed that charges were filed against Tang more than two months before the Tempe crash. "Prior to the incident on January 30, this same individual had engaged in similar conduct, which resulted in misdemeanor charges for disorderly conduct and criminal damage against him in November 2019," according to a Waymo statement.
A secured appearance bond of $18,000 was set for Tang. If he posted that, he will have to wear an ankle bracelet and will be placed on house arrest.