RENTON, Wash. - The Washington State Patrol said they have arrested the man suspected of throwing rocks at cars along State Route 900 in Renton.
Trooper Johnson told FOX 13 News that 55-year-old Shawn L. Perantie was arrested Tuesday morning. He is being held in the King County Correctional Facility and has been charged with second-degree malicious mischief and reckless endangerment.
"This came as the result of community involvement and assistance from the media to get these incidents publicized which led the Washington State Patrol (WSP) to develop probable cause for the arrest of the individual," Johnson wrote in a news release. "The WSP wants to thank the community and those that came forward and worked with troopers to gather the necessary evidentiary pieces to finally put a stop to the dangerous actions of this individual. The witnesses that provided positive identification and observed this individual commit the crimes was crucial to this case ending in an arrest."
Troopers are still seeking anyone who may be a victim or a witness in this case to come forward.
Weeks of frustration
Residents said they were being threatened day after day by a man throwing rocks at vehicles.
In the beginning of September, Washington State Patrol (WSP) said they responded to four incidents involving the man residents have dubbed "the Rock Thrower." Those four incidents happened in under two weeks.
Eilleen Demetrio, who has lived in the area for 18 years, is one of the many asking what’s taking so long to arrest the man.
"I want to know why he can't be arrested and why he can't be charged and convicted," Demetrio said.
WSP said they have been in contact with several victims who reported damaged windshields, and that they are moving their investigation forward.
"What's it going to take to finally catch him to make him stop because it's changed our lives around here completely," said Sherrie Corrington, a 20-year resident of Renton.
Corrington says traffic in that area has slowed dramatically, mostly in part for people intentionally trying to avoid the area.
Demetrio is one of the many who made changes to her daily routine because of the rock thrower.
She’s now driving an extra 15 minutes each way.
"I'm sure I'm not the only one who's made that decision to inconvenience my life just to avoid this menace," Demetrio said.
She’s hoping to avoid having her windshield shattered like nearby resident, Hannah.
She recalls the Monday afternoon she became the latest victim to the rock thrower.
"I don't know if that upset him that I looked at him, but he came angrily towards my car, and then he continued to come after my car and did that," Hannah pointed out to her broken windshield.
The "Rock Thrower" cracked Hannah’s windshield with what she believes was a glass bottle as she was on her way back home to Renton from Issaquah.
She drives down the same stretch daily and is afraid of retaliation, so FOX 13 has not disclosed her full name.
The 30-year-old says the attack didn’t stop there-- she says she saw the man walking to her car in her rear-view mirror.
"I thought he was going to try to rip my door open and do something because if he's capable of this, what else could he do?" Hannah said.
A fear many residents share as the incident they say has only escalated over the past few months.
"He's pointed a firearm at people in the same place. He threw a beer bottle at a school bus. How much more do we need from this guy?" Corrington said.
Drivers and residents say they’ve made reports with WSP, who previously told FOX 13 they needed witnesses and victims to file reports and positively identify their attacker.
FOX 13 spotted the man residents claim is responsible for causing thousands of dollars in damages and asked him if the allegations were true.
He refused to talk to us.
Residents say the community has had enough and are turning to social media.
"People on social media that I've seen, have commented on taking out their frustrations on him physically by driving into him and hurting him," Corrington said.
She, like Hannah, fears for the man’s safety.
"He's going to do this to the wrong person one day, and something bad might happen, and that's unfortunate," Hannah said.
Records show the suspect has at least 20 misdemeanor charges.