Local News

Police Arrest Teens for Throwing Rocks from I-40 Overpass

Posted September 25, 2000

— Garner police say two teenagers threw rocks at vehicles from an overpass above Interstate 40, hitting four cars and a tractor-trailer Tuesday morning.

The rocks crashed into windshields after being thrown from a railroad overpass along I-40 in southeast Wake County shortly before noon. No one was injured.

After his car was hit, Ellis Liverman pulled over, jumped out and chased the suspects until police apprehended them.

"I knew if I somebody didn't get a look at them, they'd probably continue to do it," Liverman says.

Police say the rocks were not large enough to go through the windshields. While drivers were not hurt, they were certainly scared.

"All of a sudden there was an explosion, and I didn't know what happened," says Ann Swertfeger, whose SUV was hit by a rock. She and other motorists pulled over after realizing what had happened.

The father of one suspect was shocked when he learned he son was arrested. He is relieved that no one was hurt.

"It's terrifying. I didn't expect him to do stuff like that," he says. "I just can't tolerate stuff like that."

Afries Mayham, 16, of Garner, was charged with six counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. A 15-year-old faces the same charges, as well as carrying a concealed weapon.

Tuesday's incident was not the first of its kind in the area.

In March 1999, a Canadian teenager, Michael Vytlingam, suffered permanent brain damage whena rock crashed through the SUV he was drivingon Interstate 95 in Cumberland County. Two suspects were arrested in December 1999.

Six young boys were charged in May with throwing rocks at cars on I-40 near the Lake Wheeler Road exit. Several cars were damaged, but no one was injured.

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