Kuttner Faces Obstruction of Justice Charges

Oliver Kuttner got his day in court, Chris Dumond writes for the Lynchburg News & Advance, though he surely wishes that he did not.

He was arrested in October on charges of obstruction of justice, accused of behaving belligerently towards a Lynchburg police officer after being pulled over for driving with an expired registration. This came less than a month after his team won the X-Prize, making Lynchburg famous in the automotive world, so his accusation that he was mistreated by the police resulted in an immediate internal probe at the police department.

It turns out that, upon being pulled over, Kuttner angrily walked over to the police car. (A big no-no.) He had to be told more than a half dozen times to return to his car before he finally did so. In the process, he informed the officer that he was “so tired of the dumb people in this town.” After going back to his car, more officers arrived as backup, sending Kuttner out of his car again. That went very badly. He was handcuffed, shouting for somebody to “get the news out here.” In court today, he was pretty chagrined, admitting fault. At worst he’ll pay a fine and be charged with a lesser crime, though the court is trying to figure out how to come up with a lemons-to-lemonade punishment that will allow everybody to save face.

For anybody who knows Oliver Kuttner—even just slightly, as I do—it’s hard not to grin while reading all of this. It’s all so Oliver.

3 Responses to “Kuttner Faces Obstruction of Justice Charges”


  • For anybody who knows Oliver Kuttner—even just slightly, as I do—it’s hard not to grin while reading all of this. It’s all so Oliver.

    I’d wager I know him a good bit better than you do, and its easy for me not to grin while reading this. In fact, I don’t know whether to be more surprised at his actions, or the fact that you think they’re representative of his typical behavior. While truly one of the most gifted and creative people I will ever meet in my lifetime, yes he can manifest some disdain for bureaucracy from time to time, but as to his winding up in handcuffs and under arrest? I was shocked to hear that when I did, and just as surprised to find out now that his actions weren’t provoked. He must have really been having a terrible day for things to get out of hand as they clearly did.

  • I’d wager I know him a good bit better than you do, and its easy for me not to grin while reading this. In fact, I don’t know whether to be more surprised at his actions, or the fact that you think they’re representative of his typical behavior.

    Oh, not the being arrested part. He’s got that enfant terrible thing going on—always happy to say unpopular things and to behave outrageously…but not always happy that he did so, in retrospect. “I’ll never develop anything in Charlottesville again” comes to mind. :) I can totally understand what was going through his head on the day of his arrest, and completely sympathize with his thinking: surely isn’t that big of a deal, of course they’re not going to arrest me, etc. A certain amount of distance may be required for this perspective. Folks who, like me, know him primarily through his more public activities are perhaps less surprised and taking this in a better spirit than those who know him well. :)

  • That’s what happens to folks when they bring that “holier than thou” C’ville attitude down to L’burg. Maybe he should move back to the “World Class City”.

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