Three Arrested for Allegedly Throwing Items Off I-57 Overpasses
An estimated 20 to 25 vehicles were either struck by thrown items or hit items after they had fallen to the road below the overpasses. There is only one known injury. A truck driver had glass get into an eye after his windshield was shattered at an overpass north of Salem. He declined hospital treatment. In another case, a cinder block crashed through the windshield of a semi and landed in the passenger seat.
Two of the three teens are also believed to have broken into sports concession stands in Salem and Centralia where they obtained many of the items that were allegedly thrown over the overpass. 17-year-old Zackary Schilling of Burge Road in Centralia is being held in the Marion County Jail for four counts of burglary, one count of motor vehicle burglary, criminal damage to property totaling $10,000 to $100,000, vehicular endangerment and felony theft. A 15-year-old juvenile boy from Salem is being detained in juvenile detention for two counts of burglary, one count of motor vehicle burglary, criminal damage totaling $10,000 to $100,000, and vehicular endangerment. A 16-year-old juvenile boy from Kell was released to his parents after being arrested for criminal damage, vehicle endangerment, and theft.
Sheriff's Deputies say the items were thrown off the overpass in three waves. The first were around 6 Saturday night. The second round was around nine Saturday night. The final incidents occurred around three Sunday morning. After being behind the vandalism wave the first two times, the third time Sheriff's Deputies and Salem Police all headed to different overpasses. The break in the case came when the three suspects were allegedly found on a combine near the Oak Road overpass south of Kinmundy. The three were allegedly trying to remove fire extinguishers to allegedly throw at vehicles.
Sheriff's Deputies say items thrown ranged from rolls of paper towels and toilet paper, to cinder blocks, to a case of water and full containers of cool aide and bottles of soda. A concrete statue was also thrown onto the highway. It didn't hit a vehicle, but a vehicle did run into it a short time later while it was laying on the roadway. Deputies say the three are fortunate no one was killed or seriously injured by their actions or they could be facing much worse charges.
Schilling is charged with three counts of burglary to the same concession stand in Centralia because he entered three separate times on Saturday. The other burglary charge is for entering the concession stand in Salem.
Deputies feel total damage from the vandalism spree could be close to $100,000. They do not anticipate any additional arrests.
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Police Beat for Tuesday, December 1st, 2015