The South Sacramento California Highway Patrol has identified the man who allegedly threw boulders off Interstate 5 bridges, causing damage to passing cars and some injuries to drivers over the course of the past two months.
The California Highway Patrol says 47-year-old Pedro Ruiz Espinoza was arrested Monday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.
Espinoza was involved in at least seven incidents in the area of Florin Road, South Land Park Road and the Pocket Road over-crossings over I-5, both northbound and southbound lanes. That's according to CHP officer Adrian Quintero, who made the actual arrest on Espinoza.
"He had been caught on two other occasions. He had two charges for the same thing. Sacramento Police Department had arrested him," Quintero said. "I said, 'Why did you do those as well?' He said, 'I was fighting with someone. I was upset.' That's the only thing he really said. But to have two prior convictions, again, this shows a trend and a pattern."
Law enforcement officials say the boulders thrown varied in size -- some measuring larger than a football -- and injured several drivers.
"A boulder this size could've killed someone," Quintero said.
Though there were no fatal injuries, one man in a yellow truck suffered cuts and abrasions on his body after a boulder went through his windshield. Also, a woman sustained injuries to her face after she lost control of the car when a rock went through the windshield; causing her to crash into the concrete divider on I-5 at Florin Road.
Espinoza was arrested after several witnessed helped identify him and the description of his bike.
It's not clear whether he has an attorney.
Also concerning is that the chain link fences lining highway overpasses aren't enough to keep someone from dropping rocks of this size.
"It's something we're going to talk to Caltrans about and obviously address these concerns for us, if somebody can push something that size through the railing," Quintero said, adding they'll work together to "see if we can come up with another game plan to secure things."
No incidents have happened since Espinoza was arrested.
"This is kind of a unique case," Quintero said. "This is one of those isolated incidents we hope that is not going to happen again."
He said CHP has seen single cases of people dropping rocks from overpasses in the past - but nothing like this, where someone commits repeated and serious offenses.
Anyone who might be a victim can call CHP's office at 916.681.2300.