62 cars hit by projectiles on Monterey County freeways, prompting investigation

The CHP has created a task force to investigate a series of incidents in which projectiles have hit vehicles in the Prunedale area.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Dozens of vehicles have been struck by projectiles along Highway 101 and neighboring Highway 156 in the Prunedale area this year, prompting the California Highway Patrol to create a task force to investigate the attacks.

The incidents — 62 since February — began to pick up in frequency in early October, and investigators think they are linked, said Capt. Kyle Foster, commander of the Monterey division of the CHP.

Six cars were struck in as many minutes Saturday evening. There were four attacks Friday and two Thursday, Foster said.


No one has been seriously injured, but there have been at least five reports of minor lacerations from shattered glass, the CHP said.

Most of the incidents have taken place toward the end of the week along a stretch of highway in Monterey County that runs for several miles, although a couple of attacks were reported just east along Highway 156 in San Benito County, Foster said. He declined to describe the nature of the projectiles because of the ongoing investigation.

Drivers traveling through the corridor are advised to keep their windows up and, if their vehicle is struck, to pull over immediately and call 911.

“We have full-time assets assigned to this 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Foster said. “Our top priority is the public safety.”