Two 13-year-old boys face charges after rocks were thrown at vehicles moving at 80 km/h on a busy street this week, with one of the boys also accused of assaulting a police officer.
Winnipeg police were called to the overpass at Pembina Highway and Bishop Grandin Boulevard after the boys were seen throwing rocks at eastbound vehicles at around 10 p.m. Tuesday.
Four vehicles were damaged by the rocks — a Nissan Versa, a Toyota Sienna, a Ford F-150 and a Volkswagen Jetta — causing a total of about $2,500, according to police.
Const. Jason Michalyshen could not say how large the rocks in question were, but he said the suspects did bring them to the overpass.
He said regardless of the size of the rocks, they made a significant impact as they smashed windshields as they were launched at vehicles moving at speeds of 80 to 100 km/h.
"I'd be terrified I think,” said Samantha Coelho. “My windshield was smashed by a rock flying off of a semi. I couldn't imagine kids doing it, though.”
Coelho said the incident makes her more paranoid about kids she sees walking street-side.
Michalyshen said the situation could have turned deadly if the drivers of the targeted vehicles had tried to swerve around the rocks.
"Depending on how they react, again, there could be a domino effect: vehicles could go off the road, other vehicles could collide,” said Const. Jason Michalyshen. “Thankfully we're not talking about that here."
Victim, police officer assaulted
Three of the victims pulled their vehicles over and ran after the youths.
"If it happened to me I'd be pretty mad that's for sure,” said Dhillon Fiorentino. "I'm coming this way quite often, I mean, if I saw it I probably would’ve stopped by car, honestly, and chased them down."
Police say one victim, a 22-year-old man, was assaulted after he caught up with one of the boys.
"It sounds pretty bad. I mean, like it's obviously really dangerous and could cause some trouble. I don't know why people would even think of doing that,” said Fiorentino.
One of the police officers at the scene was assaulted while one of the boys was in custody, police said in a news release.
Both the 22-year-old man and the police officer were assaulted to the upper body. The officer suffered minor injuries.
Both boys face four counts of mischief endangering life, and one of the boys also faces charges of assault and assaulting a peace officer. They were released on a promise to appear in court.
Police say they are continuing to investigate a third boy's involvement.
Manitoba Public Insurance said the teens’ parents could be on the hook for damage and deductibles.