Homeless camps to be cleared out after another incident of rocks being thrown at vehicles on Seattle’s I-90 freeway

Washington state troopers on Tuesday afternoon arrested another person who they believe was throwing rocks and debris at cars on the freeway

Authorities arrested the 41-year-old man from Seattle for allegedly throwing rocks and debris at seven vehicles going west on Interstate 90 near Rainier Avenue around 4 p.m., Trooper Chase Van Cleave said Tuesday. One of the three drivers who remained on scene reportedly started chasing the suspect after their vehicle was hit, Van Cleave said. The man stopped fleeing after a state trooper arrived on scene.

No one was injured, although Van Cleave said several of the vehicles suffered “pretty good damage.” Earlier Tuesday, a Mercer Island Fire Department truck transporting a medical patient was nearly hit by “intentionally thrown” concrete debris on I-90 in Seattle, the city’s police department said in a statement. The driver swerved, and the vehicle wasn’t seriously damaged, the statement said.

Troopers arrested a suspect later Tuesday, Mercer Island police said. It wasn’t clear Tuesday whether that was the same man suspected of hitting the seven vehicles in the afternoon. The State Patrol has responded to a large number of similar incidents in the past month. As of last week, troopers had responded to 161 rock-throwing reports in King County in 2021. Of those, 44 involved someone throwing debris from an overpass, while 117 involved debris thrown from the side of the freeway, a State Patrol statement said. One incident in June left a driver on I-90 with a serious cut on his face.

After surveying the area, state Department of Transportation officials said Tuesday, they’ve found a connection between some of the incidents and their proximity to encampments near the highways. As a result, officials are planning to start clearing away certain encampments, including one at the Benvenuto Viewpoint and another adjacent to the westbound I-90 ramp to Rainier Avenue [Seattle Times].


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