Law and order

Three juveniles are facing criminal charges after they were caught throwing rocks onto Interstate 19 from the Ajo Way overpass, officials said.

The minors are facing charges of aggravated assault, criminal damage and endangerment, Quentin Mehr, an Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman, said in a news release.

On Jan. 3, a trooper was responding to reports of a crash in the area of I-19 and Ajo when his vehicle was struck by a rock thrown by a pedestrian. The vehicle's windshield was damaged, along with four other vehicles, as a result of rock throwers, Mehr said.

The next day, DPS received another report of rock throwing in the same area and successfully caught the three juvenile offenders while they were throwing rocks onto the highway, Mehr said.

Two vehicles were damaged before troopers arrived and the juveniles were taken into custody following the incident.

"The issues of rock throwers in this area of I-19 is not new and we want the motoring public to know we take these incidents very seriously," Mehr said. "Since early last year, serious steps have taken to find and apprehend those responsible for rock throwing incidents on I-19."

Since that time, nine people — adults and juveniles — have been arrested for rock throwing, Mehr said.

Contact reporter Caitlin Schmidt at cschmidt@tucson.com or 573-4191