This past Friday, a person accused of shooting out the windows of a car traveling on a Southern California freeway, with a small BB gun, was charged with three counts of attempted murder in the wake of a train of similar incidents being reported from around the area.
The man that was taken in and charged, Jesse Leal Rodriguez of Anaheim aged 34, was slammed with also charged with an additional three more counts of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury.
The charges stem from three occupants of a Tesla that was the target of the BB attack while it drove on the 91 Freeway around 1:30 pm back on Tuesday, May 25th near Norco which is about 30 miles east of Anaheim. None of the passengers or the driver of the vehicle received any injuries whatsoever.
Currently, Rodriguez has only been charged with the attacking of one car, but as reported by the Southern California News Group, a group of investigators with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) state that they think that Rodriguez “fired at and damaged at least six other vehicles.” CHP states that it estimates that roughly 100 vehicles have been fired upon with either BB or Pellet guns resulting in damages while traveling on Southern California freeways this past month. The vast majority of these incidents reportedly occurred along Highway 91 in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside counties.
The D.A.’s Office of riverside county stated that it anticipates even more charges will be filed against Rodriguez in the future as investigators and CHP sift through leads and sort videos from the county’s freeway cameras.
We have filed 3 counts of attempted murder against an Anaheim man for firing a BB gun at a moving vehicle. If you have information about these incidents or have been a victim & not reported it, call the CHP tip line at (714) 288-6336. News release here: https://t.co/eQsBJ2aN7a pic.twitter.com/wHVFENrap6
— Riverside County DA's Office (@RivCoDA) May 28, 2021
“Shooting at moving vehicles with a BB gun or pellet gun while traveling at high speed on our roads or freeways is incredibly dangerous,” stated Mike Hestrin, Riverside County District Attorney. “Shooting out windows of cars could easily startle drivers in traffic and cause a major accident. We are all relieved that no one was seriously injured by these crimes.”
This past Friday evening after an interview with Rodriguez from jail, a journalist with the Southern California News Groups reported that Rodriguez “emphatically denied that he committed any of the shootings.”
“Not one person has reported that they saw me shoot,” Rodriguez stated to the journalist through the jailhouse glass panel.
The D.A. of Riverside County gave out more details of Rodrigue’s arrest in a release stating:
Around 1:30 p.m. on May 25, a Tesla was shot at with a BB gun in the area of Hamner Avenue and Hidden Valley Parkway in Norco. Captured on the vehicle’s video system at the time the vehicle’s window was shot out was a maroon Chevrolet Trailblazer. The incident was reported to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department which then notified CHP. There were two passengers with the driver of the Tesla, with all three being victims in this case.
Based on the vehicle description provided by witnesses, CHP officers, assisted by Riverside police, pulled over a maroon Chevrolet Trailblazer about 9:30 p.m. in a shopping center parking lot in the area of Magnolia and Tyler avenues.
The driver, Rodriguez, was arrested and a BB gun, BBs, and other related items were found in his vehicle.
Rodrigue is currently being held in Riverside at the Robert Presley Detention Center with a bail set at $750,000. The D.A.’s office stated that “If convicted as currently charged, Rodriguez faces a potential maximum sentence of 15 years plus 42 years to life in prison.”