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February 8, 2023

Prunedale projectile strikes hit 48 incidents

PRUNEDALE—The California Highway Patrol is continuing an investigation into a series of projectiles that have struck 48 vehicles on Highways 101, 152 and 156 since February.  

Public Information Officer Jessica Madueño said the attacks, which have injured five people, are increasing in frequency and brazenness. Though the CHP has received scores of tips, they said finding a suspect or suspects has proven difficult.

Thus far there have been no arrests.

“Out of the 48 we’ve been investigating, 22 have occurred since the beginning of October,” CHP Commander Kyle Foster, who is leading the investigation, told KSBW news. “It’s a sheer act of terror. The person responsible is terrorizing our citizens and the California Highway Patrol will not stand for it.”

Four vehicles were hit Thanksgiving Day. Last month a school bus carrying the football team from Carmel High School had a window shattered by a projectile, injuring one student.

Madueño said it is critical for anyone who witnesses a projectile strike and suspect vehicle to make an immediate note of a landmark—a building, a mile marker, an exit sign—to aid officers in their response to the incident.

“The sooner we get that call, the better,” Madueño said.  

The CHP has officers and investigators devoted to the area known as “projectile alley” 24 hours a day and is working in concert with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, Madueño said.

The CHP is offering a $14,500 reward drummed up by the CHP, the Sheriff’s Office and a private citizen, for information leading to an arrest of whoever is responsible. 

Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call 770-8000 during business hours or 911.

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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