A truck driver from Wisconsin who admitted to using a slingshot and ball bearings to damage vehicles on an Illinois interstate may be involved in similar incidents across four states, officials said Monday.
Illinois State Police said in a news release that 53-year-old Kevin Lee Casey of Janesville, Wis. was arrested Friday on suspicion of criminal damage to property, aggravated battery in a public place and aggravated battery to a child.
“This investigation was truly like finding a needle in a haystack,” Illinois State Police Investigative Commander Jason Henderson said at a news conference.
Authorities said they have received 45 reports of vehicles being damaged since March 30, but Casey’s charges relate to just four in Champaign County, Illinois. The 53-year-old admitting to shooting at the vehicles while driving his semi-truck, according to The News-Gazette.
One of those incidents took place on May 3, when a 3-year-old boy was injured by broken glass. The driver in that case told authorities she heard a loud pop when something hit her minivan window, shattering it and spraying her son with glass.
“It’s very mind-boggling that he wasn’t a kid, that he wasn’t a kid and that as old as he is, you think he would know better,” Jennifer Elam told WCIA.
Illinois State Police were able to capture Casey after troopers caught in him the act of using a slingshot to shatter the window of a minivan on Interstate 74 around 7 p.m., according to WCIA. Officers pulled the 53-year-old over and found a slingshot and ball bearings inside his truck.
Henderson, while not giving specific details, said during a news conference that investigators were able to determine most incidents took place on Wednesdays and Fridays, and that minivans were the typical target.
“We take these acts very seriously as they represent a clear and present danger to the public,” he said.
In addition to the damage reports in Champaign County, authorities said there were incidents reported in Vermilion, Piatt, and DeWitt Counties in Illinois, and also in Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia.
Last week, two women told FOX59 their vehicles were struck while traveling on Interstate 65 in Boone County, Indiana.
“There was a loud bang I felt something hit the side of my face,” driver Jessica Hill told FOX59. “I’m sure there was a scream in there because it was very startling.”
Casey previously spent 15 years in a Wisconsin jail for sexually assaulting a child, WCIA reported. The 53-year-old appeared before a judge on Monday, where bail was set at $2 million.
Authorities said they are continuing to investigate related incidents across other states see if they can link them to Casey.