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Report of rocks thrown at cars on freeways

March 17, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police are investigating reports of rocks being thrown at cars on freeways in the Lake View Terrace area after several drivers had their windows smashed.According to a report, a vehicle traveling on the westbound 210 Freeway near the 118 Freeway, and traffic was moving at about 60 mph. Sometime just after 10 p.m., two separate cars were hit by rocks.

"I was driving down the 210 to the 118 interchange and heard a big bang and a rock went through my truck windshield," said Mark Braun who was one of five motorists who were hit. He had to think fast. "I tried to maintain control of my car and not panic and I decided that the window might go all the way through, and I pulled over to take a better look at it. Glass was everywhere inside the truck."

He found the projectile at the base of the passenger seat. The rock was the size of a baseball. On another vehicle there was body damage and a windshield bashed by a bigger rock. The CHP reports that a tire blew out on another car which had to be towed off.

When Eyewitness News arrived at the location of the incident, fresh tracks were found on the slope leading up to the freeway. Some sizeable rocks were also found at the edge of the freeway.

Rock throwing incidents are alarmingly frequent. Last year in L.A. County, CHP issued 43 citations for throwing a substance at a vehicle, which is a misdemeanor. There was one felony arrest for throwing a substance with the intent to injure, which is usually harder to prove.

Controlling violators and identifying the rock culprits is difficult. They are often just shadows in the dark.

"I think it was intentional but I didn't see anybody before it happened," said Braun.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the incidents. They want to know if any other drivers saw anything. Anyone with information is urged to call the CHP office in Altadena at (626) 296-8100.