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UHP Watching for Rock Throwers

UHP Watching for Rock Throwers

Posted - Nov. 22, 2004 at 12:27 p.m.



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Amanda Butterfield reporting Troopers with the Utah Highway Patrol are keeping an eye on I-15 and I-80 overpasses. They're looking for anyone suspicious, holding rocks near the road.

It's a response to damage to at least six cars over the weekend. But there may be another explanation for the cracked windshields.

Last week, several rocks were thrown at cars. A 22-year-old homeless man, Michael Purdy, was arrested for the incidents Friday morning. But with Purdy behind bars, the problem didn't stop.

Friday night, more rocks were being hurled at cars, damaging windshields. Fortunately no passengers were injured.

And just over the weekend, another half dozen rock-damaged cars were reported to UHP.

But of those, only one driver was able to describe a suspect. In the rest of the cases, the driver didn't see anyone.

Now UHP is concerned drivers may becoming a little panicked.

Sgt. Wade Breur, Utah Highway Patrol: "There's a lot of vehicles hit everyday from debris from another vehicle, or kicked up off the road, and so when someone gets hit they may think, okay, so someone’s throwing rocks at my vehicle."

Advice while you're on the interstates: Keep your eye out for someone standing along the freeways, and try to get a good look at them and their clothes. And if you can, get in the furthest possible lane from the person.

In one of those weekend cases, the driver didn't even report the incident until hours after it happened, and then couldn't tell troopers where the rock came from, or if anyone was around at the time.

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