Seattle police are looking for a suspect who has, at least four times in the last two months, thrown rocks from bridges over Interstate 5. So far no injuries have been reported, but five cars have been damaged.
Over the summer, in Centralia, Wash., a man was arrested, suspected of throwing rocks at passing cars. He faced one count each of second- and third-degree malicious mischief. Bail was set at $10,000.
Earlier this month in Pennsylvania an 18-year-old was charged with reckless endangering and propulsion of missiles for throwing rocks at cars for the “thrill of it.” And in September two Florida 13-year-olds were arrested for hitting dozens of vehicles with rocks.
In September the second of five Pennsylvania men was released from prison after a conviction two years ago for dropping a five-pound rock from an overpass and seriously injuring a school teacher. The men face up to 20 years in prison for criminal conspiracy to commit aggravated assault. Despite early release, the man has to remain under supervision until he completes his sentence.
In Washington state someone throwing rocks at cars may face a charge of malicious mischief , however, if a victim is injured as a result of the rock thrown, a person -- whether juvenile or adult -- can face additional charges such as reckless endangerment or assault.
A person is guilty of malicious mischief in the first degree if he or she knowingly:
- Causes damage to someone's property exceeding $5,000;
- Causes an interruption of service rendered to the public by damaging or tampering with an emergency vehicle or property of the state, a political subdivision or a public utility or mode of public transportation, power or communication; or
- Causes an impairment of the safety, efficiency or operation of an aircraft by physically damaging or tampering with the aircraft or aircraft equipment, fuel, lubricant, or parts.
Malicious mischief in the first degree is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, or a fine of up to $20,000 or both.
A person is guilty of malicious mischief in the second degree if he or she knowingly:
- Causes damage to someone's property exceeding $750; or
- Creates a substantial risk of interruption of service rendered to the public, by damaging or tampering with an emergency vehicle or property of the state, a political subdivision or a public utility or mode of public transportation, power, or communication.
Malicious mischief in the second degree is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison, or a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
A person is guilty of malicious mischief in the third degree if he or she:
- Causes damage to someone's property under circumstances that do not amount to malicious mischief in the first or second degree; or
- Writes, paints, or draws any inscription, figure or mark of any type on any public or private building or other structure or any real or personal property without permission of the owner.
Malicious mischief in the third degree is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail, or a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
Reckless endangerment is also a gross misdemeanor. A person is guilty of reckless endangerment when he or she engages in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person.
Everyone deserves a quality defense. If you are facing criminal charges in Washington State, call the Seattle law office of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.