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Office of Public Information (609) 882-2000
Capt. Al Della Fave ext. 6514
Lt. Gerald Lewis ext. 6516
Sgt. Stephen Jones ext. 6513
Sgt. Jeanne Hengemuhle ext. 6515

December 04, 2007

State Police Warn Parents:
Throwing objects at cars is serious business

West Trenton, N.J. – “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.” This often used cliché sets a fitting backdrop to an important warning that troopers are issuing to parents and children as winter approaches. There have been several recent arrests of juveniles for throwing objects at moving vehicles on New Jersey’s roadways—particularly on toll roads and state highways.

Troopers recently arrested five children for throwing objects including bottles, stones, sticks, and apples on two separate incidents at vehicles on the Garden State Parkway. On November 8th, three boys under 13 years of age were arrested for hitting moving cars with objects in Lower Township, Cape May County. One day later in Stafford Township, Ocean County, two juveniles were caught after throwing bottles, breaking a windshield on a car.

As the state has now had its first taste of snow, the temptations are greater for kids to throw snowballs at moving vehicles. Unfortunately, something as innocuous as a snowball can still cause surprised drivers to lose control and crash. Some juveniles push bad behavior to the extremes by throwing chunks of ice that can easily break windows on moving vehicles. Windows broken on cars and trucks moving at highway speeds frequently result in eye injuries, and injured drivers can end up in fatal crashes.

“We consider throwing objects at moving vehicles to be a serious threat to safety, and we will arrest those responsible whenever possible,” said State Police Detective Jon Bentivegna, assigned to Bass River Station on the Garden State Parkway.

When juveniles are arrested, they may be charged with Criminal Mischief, Interference with Transportation, Possession of Weapons for Unlawful Purpose, and even Aggravated Assault, which is an indictable offense. Once adjudicated in family court, children could be imprisoned and expelled from schools and activities, and parents could be fined. The State Police recommend that parents speak with their children about the dangers of throwing objects including snowballs at vehicles.

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