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Former Waymo contractor arrested for collision with self-driving van

Raymond Tang (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX – An apparently disgruntled former Waymo contractor has been arrested for intentionally causing an accident with one of the company’s self-driving minivans in Tempe, authorities said.

Raymond Tang was booked Wednesday on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, criminal damage, endangerment and reckless driving, according to court documents.

The police probable cause statement says Tang reportedly was fired by Waymo, and he’s also a suspect in several other cases of reckless driving and criminal damage involving the company’s vehicles in Chandler.

Around 10:30 p.m. Jan. 30, Tang allegedly swerved in front of a Waymo vehicle being driven in manual mode five times and braked hard in front of it, causing the collision near Warner and Rural roads.

He also allegedly attempted the same maneuver on a different Waymo vehicle nearby, but the driver was able to avoid contact.

Police reviewed footage from cameras aboard the minivans before arresting Tang, who could also face charges in other cases under investigation.

The Waymo driver was hospitalized for minor injuries and asthma complications, police said. Tang was not hurt.

The accident caused $3,500 in damage to the Waymo minivan. Tang is suspected of causing $3,200 in damage to self-driving vehicles in other incidents, according to police.

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