NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Metro police say there have been at least 9 incidents involving rocks being thrown onto cars in the Bell Road area since Aug. 24.
The objects didn’t just damage the victims’ cars, though, and several suffered serious injuries.
Metro police say victims have reported the rocks, some of which were described as chunks of aggregate, were thrown from a vehicle passing them in the opposite direction.
We’ve shared the terrifying stories of three victims, two of them left severely injured, and now we are hearing from a fourth.
Lee Hardin told News 2 he was hit shortly on Sept. 22 near Harbor Lights Drive.
“I didn’t know what happened. I just heard a pop, and all of a sudden parts of my windshield are missing and my shoulder was in pain and I was kind of spitting out glass,” he explained.
Hardin says a witness saw someone passing by hurl a large rock at his car. The rock about the size of a grapefruit was soon discovered in Hardin’s floorboard.
“It could have killed me,” he told News 2.
Metro police told News 2 there have been several close calls.
“The speed limit on Bell Road is 50 miles an hour, and you’ve got to take into consideration anytime a projectile is thrown into an oncoming vehicle at the same speed of 50 mile per hour, that’s a great amount of speed for a projectile to go through a windshield,” Investigative Sergeant Robert Johnson said.
Sgt. Johnson says it’s a crime unlike he’s ever seen in his 20-year career.
“This appears to be from a car traveling and throwing something into oncoming traffic from a vehicle. These are not pranks, these are not jokes, these are serious incidents where individuals are getting seriously wounded,” he told News 2.
He said anyone could become a target.
“The stretch of this road where it keeps occurring, it’s very dark, so it would be almost impossible for the individual to see what type of car is approaching, the race of the individual, so it’s pretty much random,” Sgt. Johnson said.
Metro police have added extra patrols to the area, including aviation, but they are leaning on the public for help.
“It’s just chaos and it’s just completely unnecessary and I just hope they catch them,” explained Hardin.
So far, these are instances that have been documented by authorities:
Aug. 24 at 11 p.m., Bell Road at Heron Point
Rock shattered car’s windshield, causing deep gash to victim’s forehead
Aug. 24 at 11:20 p.m., Bell Road at Anderson Road
Rock shattered car’s windshield, causing cuts to the victim’s face
Sept. 7 at 11:10 p.m., Bell Road at Heron Point
Victim heard three loud “bangs” and discovered three dents on his vehicle
Sept. 7 at 11:30 p.m., Bell Road at Heron Point
Rock damaged victim’s front headlight
Sept. 7 at 11:45 p.m., Bell Road at Heron Point
Rock hit victim’s left headlight
Sept. 19 at 9 p.m., Bell Road at Harbor Lights Drive
Rock damaged victim’s front bumper and radiator
Sept. 19 at 9:30 p.m., Bell Road at Harbor Lights Drive
Rock shattered victim’s windshield
Sept. 22 at 10:15 p.m., Bell Road at Harbor Lights Drive
Rock shattered car’s windshield and hit victim in the shoulder
Sept. 23 at 10:30 p.m., Bell Road at Woodland Pointe Drive
Large rock flew through James Turner’s car, breaking his jaw and shattering windshield
Several people have mentioned that similar incidents happened to them but went unreported. Police are urging anyone whose car may have been hit along Bell Road to alert them about the incident as they continue to piece together details on these crimes.
A community group call ARC, the members of which wish to remain anonymous, has posted a $5,000 reward for information in this case in addition to a reward of up to $1,000 being offered by Crime Stoppers.
To be eligible for the Crime Stoppers reward, tips must be received through the program’s tip line at 615-742-7463. Callers can remain anonymous.