4 charged with tossing boulders onto passing cars



HALL COUNTY, Ga. - Gainesville police said they arrested two men and continue to search for two more after the men threw rocks off an interstate overpass and struck two vehicles.

One of the two victims spoke exclusively with Channel 2 Action News and said the rock's impact felt like an explosion.

"It was like a bomb went off," said John Chumley.  "It made the van rock, and then all of a sudden, the window just blew out against me."

Chumley said he had finished making a delivery and was driving south on Interstate 985 around 1:30 Tuesday morning when he thought he noticed people standing on an overpass.  A second later, he said, is when the rock hit.

"On the drivers' door right above where the mirror is," said Chumley.  "It obviously must have ricocheted and broke the entire window, and then it bounced down the side of the van."

The van still bears deep grooves from the impact. Besides some glass in his eye, Chumley said he wasn't injured.

Police said that 30 minutes later, the four men tossed another rock, hitting a car driven by a Habersham County man who asked to be identified only as Les.  The rock crashed through his roof and landed in his back seat.  Luckily, he wasn't injured either.

The boulder that hit Les’ car was the size of a small microwave oven. It left a 2-foot-wide hole in his roof, shattering the back windshield.

“Peeled it back like a sardine can," Les said. "A foot over to the left, and half-second later, quarter-second, it would have taken my head off."

Les also said the impact was like a bomb going off.
“It was just sensory overload. Couldn't comprehend what was going on. Glass flying, the explosion. It was scary," said Les. 

Gainesville police said they kept a watch on the bridge after the first impact, and because of that, were able to identify the four men.

They arrested Khyrie Harris and Juan Peterson and charged them with felony criminal damage and terroristic acts charges.  They said they're looking for Michael Ellis and Kendrick Harris, too.

"It's a very, very dangerous situation," said Gainesville police spokesperson Cpl. Kevin Holbrook.  "I can't imagine what would possess these individuals to commit these heinous acts."

Chumley's attorney, Kevin Ford, said it's a miracle anyone survived the impacts.

"If you have an object the size and weight of a microwave striking you in the vehicle, certainly it's going to endanger your life, may even take your life," said Ford.

Channel 2 Action News

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