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Juvenile faces 20+ counts for allegedly throwing rocks at vehicles on U.S. 35

UPDATE @ 10:39 a.m. (MAY 30):

The juvenile accused of throwing rocks at vehicles on U.S. 35 in Dayton Saturday faces 26 counts of vandalism for the alleged crimes, according to court officials.

The teen appeared in court on Sunday on the charges and a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf, court administrators said.

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The court also ruled the teen was to stay in juvenile detention.

The next court date in the case is scheduled for June 1 at 2:30 p.m.

INITIAL REPORT (MAY 26):

Nearly 20 motorists pulled over Saturday night in Dayton after their vehicles were struck by rocks while they were traveling west on U.S. 35.

Dayton police arrested one male juvenile at the scene, who admitted throwing rocks, according to a Dayton police report. 

The boy was taken to the Montgomery County Juvenile Justice Center, where he was booked on several counts of vandalism. He said he had an accomplice, another male juvenile, but it was not clear whether that youth was arrested.

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Thomas Acco of Jefferson Twp. and his girlfriend had just dropped off their children and were headed home when a rock came through the windshield.

“I was in shock that someone would play with someone’s life like this,” he said.

“Glass just flew everywhere. We had a little swerve contest with the car in front of us — their windshield got hit also. We just pulled to the side and it was like 15, 20 cars lined up to the side all with damage.”

Motorists line up along westbound U.S. 35 May 26, 2018, just before the South Smithville Road exit after their vehicles were struck by rocks. (JAMES BUECHELE / STAFF)

EARLIER REPORT

Saturday night, Dayton police Lt. Chris Malson said there were no suspects, but plenty of victims.

“We got a report of multiple cars, approximately 18 of them, that were hit with rocks as they were driving westbound on U.S. 35 near Woodman (Drive),” he said. “All the calls came within about five minutes of each other.”

Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center supervisors said they received calls starting at 10 p.m., the last one being received at 10:29 p.m.

One of the victims was Susan Myers of Lima, who was headed home with her husband, riding in the front passenger seat.

“We heard a loud bang and looked up and saw the damage on the windshield,” she said. “We immediately pulled over and noticed that there were several cars ahead of us also pulled over with their hazard lights on.”

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There were no reports of injuries, but Myers said they were shaken and now have to deal with broken glass inside the car.

Tony Gerardi of Xenia said he was driving home from visiting friends in Dayton when his car was struck.

“I hope police get them. I’m safe, thank God,” said Gerardi. “I don’t know why someone would do something like that.”

Earlier Saturday, about 4:45 p.m., another two motorists, one from Illinois and one from Dayton, reported their windshields were struck by rocks. 

At least one of the windshields shattered just when the vehicle continued under a bridge. They told police the rocks appeared to come from the north side of the highway but they were not able to see the culprits. 

Police officers found a pile of rocks on the side of the highway before the South Smithville Road exit, according to a Dayton police report.

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