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Five teens charged in North Carolina for throwing large rocks off of overpass at big rigs

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A group of teenagers will face criminal charges after they were allegedly caught throwing rocks at commercial vehicles by a sheriff’s office using drone technology.

The incident began late on February 24, 2023, as the Union County Sheriff’s Office (UCSO) located in Monroe, North Carolina, received calls that multiple suspects at the 2500 block of the Monroe Expressway were throwing large rocks off a bridge at vehicles passing below.

When deputies arrived at the scene, they located a semi truck that had been struck by a rock, resulting in “significant damage to the roof of the truck and the front side of the trailer.”

The truck driver was not injured.

The UCSO deputies used a police drone equipped with infrared technology to try to locate the suspects and found “several distinct heat signatures hiding near the on-ramp to the expressway.”

The suspects fled from approaching deputies on foot. However, two were apprehended after a security perimeter was set up.

UCSO was able to identify five suspects ranging in age from 13 to 15 who were responsible for the property damage.

UCSO is unable to release the identities of the suspects due to their ages, but all five will face criminal charges via petitions issued by the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Sheriff Eddie Cathey adds “Throwing large rocks off of a bridge at commercial motor vehicles traveling on the Monroe Expressway could have seriously injured or killed one of the drivers who were just trying to work hard and provide for their families. The deputies investigating this incident were able to respond quickly and utilized the right equipment to locate, identify, and ensure the juveniles responsible for this incident will be held accountable.”

Anyone who has information on the case is asked to call the UCSO Main Office at (704) 283-3789 or Union County Crime Stoppers at (704) 283-5600.

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