Windshield-smashing teens endanger I-205 drivers in Parkrose

Look and see why police say they say they believe these near-adults’ life-threatening behavior was no accident – but they avoided going to jail …

Police are flagged down just east of I-205 along NE Airport Way by motorists, both of them with smashed windshields.  Desmond Moore photo

By David F. Ashton
Two drivers – one going to pick up a friend, and the other going home – met in a most unusual way November 11, about 12:30 a.m. – after both of their vehicles’ windshields were suddenly smashed by flying objects in outer East Portland.

Albert Leray said he was driving with a friend in his truck when his “windshield exploded”.

This smashed windshield on this 1982 Chevy pick-up isn’t from an accident – but from a deliberate act, according to police. Desmond Moore photo

“I thought somebody shot a gun at me,” Leray said. “Look at the glass; it looks like a blast from at 12-gauge shotgun!”

Leray said he was in the far right lane of I-205 going to give a friend a ride. “Then, this rock came through my windshield.”

When told that police caught two 17-year-olds suspected of committing the crime, Leray said, “What were they thinking? If there would have been one of my children sitting with me, that rock might have killed them.

“Why are they out at midnight, anyway?” Leray said. “My kids will be going to church with me in a few hours.”

Another rock, reportedly pitched off an overpass, smashed the windshield of this Honda Civic. Desmond Moore photo

About the same time, Daniel Villalvazo-Palacios was also driving on the freeway in his 2000 Honda sedan.

“Unexpectedly, something smashed my windshield,” Villalvazo-Palacios said. “I swerved to the right lane. Then I just decided to pull over. At first, I thought it was a part flying or something, flying off from another vehicle.”

He noticed Leray’s damaged truck also took the Airport Way exit; and they both came to a stop at NE Ainsworth Circle. “At first, I thought the other guy was blaming me for throwing that rock.”

But, both drivers soon realized their “accidents” had happened at the same time, and at the same place – just after going under the Killingsworth Overpass.

Having a heavy rock come crashing through one’s windshield, at freeway speed, is every driver’s nightmare. Desmond Moore photo

“Something like that could possibly kill someone,” Villalvazo-Palacios said. “It doesn’t make sense to be playing at something like that.”

Portland Police Bureau Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson said North Precinct district officers started checking the area near the overpass. “They located two 17-year-old males on the railroad tracks and took them into custody without incident. Both suspects were charged with three counts of Reckless Endangerment and two counts of Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree.”

Were these two “recklessly endangering” near-adults taken into custody? Well, no.

“The two suspects were released to their parents,” Simpson said.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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