Everett, Washington – A man was arrested after throwing rocks and other debris at passing motorists traveling on I-5 last Saturday.
According to police, at least 7 cars were struck by objects including rocks, blocks of wood, and a metal pipe thrown by 41-year-old Jeremy Yates. One of the victims, Sandra Wilde, had significant damage to her Subaru when Yates threw a chunk of concrete at her car.
“I watched him throw it with all his might. It hit my windshield and the glass went all over me,” Wilde told Komonews.
She pulled over to the shoulder quickly due to the damage to her car when Yates, bloody and screaming, ran over with a heavy trailer hitch.
“He threw the trailer hitch and it hit right here,” Wilde said. “He grabbed it and continued to hit the window five times and then it broke.”
Yates began to climb into the car when a man with a concealed carry permit, identified only as Jacob, ran up with his father to confront the suspect.
“I drew my pistol,” Jacob told Komonews in an interview. “I aimed it at his head because as I got closer to him, he still had this chunk of metal in his hand. I said several expletives at him, told him to get on the ground and he was under citizen’s arrest. As I ran up to him, he dropped. He dropped the metal. I went to the ground with him.
“As I went down with him, he jumped up and wanted to fight my father who was behind me. He (father) came up to help me out. I gave my father my pistol and I went toe-to-toe with the guy. I backed him off I-5 down on to Pacific Avenue,” he said. “I physically walked him back as he was trying to walk to I-5. My biggest thing, I didn’t want him to jump in front of a vehicle.”
An officer responding to the call from the terrified Sandra Wilde and other citizens, encountered the men fighting alongside the highway. The officer said he witnessed the suspect punch Jacob and “take a fighting stance.”
When Yates saw the officer approach, he began to walk away but was quickly apprehended without further struggle.
“I was glad I could stop them before he destroyed another vehicle or killed or seriously injured somebody. If you throw a concrete chunk through a vehicle that’s doing 60 mph, it’s going to kill someone,” Jacob said.
Wilde, who says she was very scared and traumatized by the attack, said she appreciates Jacob and his father coming to her rescue from Yates.
“If Jacob had not stopped him, he would have kept going,” she told Komonews.
Police, who say Yates is known to them for drug related and mental health problems, have charged Yates with first-degree assault and first- and second-degree malicious mischief. They went on to say he could have “easily killed or created substantial bodily harm” to citizens traveling on the highway.
Damages from one of the collisions of the 7-10 vehicles involved in the attack totaled at least $5,000.
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