By Rebecca Roberts
EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (KPLR) – FOX 2 was the first to report a dangerous problem plaguing drivers on I-64 in East St. Louis. Now, law enforcement agencies are speaking out about their plans to put a stop to this violent act, before someone gets killed.
East St. Louis Police Chief Michael Floore says rock throwing isn’t uncommon in his jurisdiction, but admits this is the worst he has seen it. The last time he says it happened was this past Fourth of July weekend near the casino Queen on the riverfront.
Now, victims tell FOX 2 rocks are being thrown at their vehicles from the highway median on I-64 between the 3rd Street/St. Clair Avenue and 25th Street exits. Some say it’s been happening since mid-August.
Floore says he has reason to believe it’s a group of young people throwing the rocks. He says, “I don’t know if they’re doing it for initiation or for fun—we don’t know the reason behind it now, but we do have officers that are going to be looking into this and see if we can get it wrapped up as soon as possible.”
He says his department is putting a plan into place to make that happen: “We’re gonna man the area right now, just to see what we can get. We may able to get a camera up there somewhere, where we can actually take video of persons, of whomever is doing this, so whatever means of us trying to get this curtailed, we’re gonna try to do.”
Floore also plans to discuss consequences with the District Attorney’s office to make sure the rock throwing will stop for good. He explains, “We want to let these kids know that if you get caught, you’re gonna pay the penalty. You’re gonna pay. And that’s my objective, because you don’t just throw bricks at people’s cars out here, innocent people who can get killed, and have an accident out there, and they need to stop it. But we’re going to get ‘em.”
Chief Floore plans to reach out to other agencies, including Illinois State Police, to help catch the young men.
According to Illinois State Police Trooper Mike Link, ISP will also beef up patrols in the area, especially at nighttime when most of these incidents have been happening. If you're driving along I-64 and see anything suspicious, call police by dialing *77. At this point, no suspects are in custody.