Suspect arrested in vehicle projectile strikes south of Gilroy, report says

SALINAS, Calif. (KGO) -- The California Highway Patrol has made an arrest in the rash of projectiles striking cars in Prunedale and Aromas, just south of Gilroy, involving at least 69 incidents on Highway 101 and State Route 156 over the past year.

Charles Kenneth Lafferty, 52, was taken into custody Wednesday in the town of Nipomo in San Luis Obispo County. Investigators got a break in the case after they spotted a GMC truck during an attack earlier this month and then linked it back to Lafferty.

"Thank god nobody was seriously hurt, but the fear itself was enough to live through," said Prunedale resident Georgia Crouse, who said she feared driving between Monterey County and the Bay Area because of the incidents.

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Lafferty now faces 10 counts of felony throwing an object at a motor vehicle, 10 counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon, and one count of felony possession of a silencer.

"As we process and analyze the evidence we have acquired, we are confident that we'll be able to recommend additional counts, based on the evidence we have linking him to those victims," said CHP Monterey division commander Capt. Kyle Foster.

The CHP says Lafferty used a slingshot with marbles to attack his victims. For now, they believe he acted alone, but say the investigation is still early.

Neighbors say the ordeal has brought the community together.

"Comforting know that the person is caught," said Prunedale resident Adriana Greenawalt. "I appreciate knowing what the community has done, the donations, and what the law enforcement is doing... they've been working really, really hard and I appreciate that."

Lafferty is behind held at the Monterey County Jail on $250,000 bail.

"I don't know what (his) motive was, but it's disgusting," said Prunedale resident Wendy Andrews. "(He) really could've killed innocent people. It's sad."
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