An arrest has been made in connection with a series of nearly 70 separate incidents in which mysterious projectiles were hitting vehicle windshields along Highways 101 and 156 in Monterey and San Benito Counties last year.
The scary, bizarre incidents began in February 2019, and within months a six-person task force from the CHP and Monterey County Sheriff’s Office had been assembled to investigate. The final incident occurred on January 5, as the Chronicle reports, after which authorities were able to identify a suspect vehicle — a GMC Sonoma pick-up — connect it to other projectile incidents, and the execute several search warrants.
On Wednesday, the sheriff's office arrested 52-year-old Charles Kenneth Lafferty of San Luis Obispo County on suspicion of the crimes, and he remains in jail on $250,000 bail. According to the CHP, Lafferty was booked on suspicion of 10 counts of throwing an object at a vehicle, 10 counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and one count of possessing a silencer.
Authorities say that Lafferty used a slingshot and glass marbles in the attacks, which regularly targeted vehicles in the Prunedale area over an 11-month period. And on one night alone, there were six incidents in a 17-minute period, as KTVU reports.
CHP Chief LD Maples tells the Chronicle that the cops believed "it wasn’t a matter of if, but when, there could be more serious consequences — including loss of life," from the projectiles shattering windshields. But in total, only four adults and one child sustained injuries following 69 separate, known incidents.