The Birmingham Police Department is asking the public to report any suspicious activity near the Highland Avenue overpass on the Red Mountain Expressway after a fifth incident involving a car being struck by a thrown object.
The earlier incidents occurred in a two-hour period March 14 and 15. A motorist also reported that her car was damaged March 24 when it was struck by an object near the 31st Street overpass on Interstate 20/59.
Lt. Sean Edwards, police department spokesman, said a man made a report April 11, saying someone threw a brick at his car at 5 p.m. on April 10 as he drove near the Highland Avenue overpass. The brick hit the man’s 2010 Dodge Journey on the passenger side, he said.
Police do not believe the brick came from the overpass itself because the damage was on the side of the car and because of the time of day the April 10 incident occurred.
“We believe it came from either one of the sides. … It’s definitely not someone standing on the overpass and throwing something down,” Edwards said. “There’s a lot of traffic, people driving and people walking” at that time of day.
He said police have continued being extra vigilant in the area surrounding the Highland Avenue overpass. “We are still working over there,” he said. “We are being very visible in those areas.”
Edwards said police have no suspects so far. “It’s just something we’ve got to figure out and get someone in the community to help us out,” he said.
Officers believe the objects have been thrown from somewhere on the side of the road rather than the overpass. He said police need the public to be watchful and, if anyone sees something strange or suspicious, to call 911.
“We would like people to give us a call right away so we can dispatch someone over there quickly,” he said.
The March incidents began late March 14 and ended shortly after midnight.
At about 10:30 p.m., a woman reported that something hit her windshield and then another object struck her rear window and a passenger window, Edwards said. All three of the windows were broken.
The second report came in at 11:30 p.m., when a woman called police to say three windows on her car had been broken out in the same area of the highway, Edwards said. The officer sent to the scene reported that the damage indicated the objects may have come from the side of the road, rather than the overpass, he said.
The third incident was reported at 11:40 p.m., when a man said that someone had thrown an object from the overpass, breaking a window and denting a door on his car.
The fourth report came at 12:05 a.m. from a woman who said she heard what could have been a gunshot near the overpass. A back passenger window in her car was broken.
Broadcast reports said other cars were damaged in similar incidents in March, but Edwards said those incidents were not reported to the police.
Edwards noted that no one has been injured in any of the recent incidents. But there have been cases of injury and even death from such incidents.
In September 2012, Tuscaloosa County officials charged two Cottondale teenagers with throwing a brick from an overpass on Interstate 20/59, hitting a car. The 40-year-old driver, Melissa Jones, sustained serious injuries and underwent several surgeries as a result.
According to a report in the Tuscaloosa News, Shane Adam Herren and Jordan Isaiah Price, who were both 16 at the time of the incident, pleaded guilty in February and were given youthful offender status.
Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama were shocked in 1999, when Professor Julie Laible was killed as her car was hit by a 72-pound concrete block thrown from an overpass in Florida. Laible, who was 32, sustained a fatal head injury when the block came through her windshield. Three teenagers were found guilty of murder in the case.