Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man Sunday who had allegedly been throwing rocks at moving vehicles in Gilroy. However, authorities don’t think he is the same suspect who has thrown objects at cars in the same area for the past year.
About 9:15am May 5, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Highway 152 near Lovers Lane in unincorporated east Gilroy, for a report of a person throwing rocks at passing vehicles, according to a post on the sheriff’s office Facebook page. When deputies arrived, they saw about 20 vehicles that had been struck by rocks pulled over to the side of the road.
With the help of witnesses, deputies located the suspect, who was later identified as 28-year-old Jeremy Valdez, according to police. Valdez fled the scene and ran into a nearby large grass field.
Deputies arrived from throughout the county, and California Highway Patrol and Gilroy police officers joined to assist in the search, according to the sheriff’s office. The officers and deputies set a perimeter around the field.
During the search, police located discarded clothing and tracked Valdez down, reads the social media post. Valdez was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, multiple counts of felony vandalism, throwing objects at moving vehicles, delaying and resisting arrest and violation of probation.
While numerous motorists have reported someone throwing objects at vehicles on Highway 152 for about the last year, the sheriff’s office does not think Valdez is related to those previous incidents, according to Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Low.
“It is early on (in the investigation), but based on the information we have so far and from working with CHP investigators, it does not appear (Valdez) is the same guy,” Low said.
Between February 2018 and February 2019, the CHP Hollister-Gilroy office received several reports of objects being thrown at vehicles on Highway 152 between Casa de Fruta Parkway and Dinosaur Point in unincorporated east Gilroy. Each of those incidents occurred after dark.