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CHP Patrolling I-80 After Pellet Gun Attacks

November 05, 1995| Associated Press

OAKLAND — Authorities increased patrols on a stretch of Interstate 80 on Saturday after a dozen motorists reported that their cars had been struck by pellets fired from a gun.

No one was injured in any of the apparent sniper attacks that occurred Thursday and Friday, said CHP Officer Pete Barra. No incidents were reported Saturday, he said.

"It could be anyone from kids to an adult with a problem," Barra said. "Right now we have nothing consistent to give us leads."

Barra said the pellets fired have not been powerful enough to penetrate metal, and were barely strong enough to "ding doors and break glass."

The attacks have occurred along a seven-mile stretch of I-80 from Powell Street in Emeryville to El Portal Drive in Richmond. Barra said motorists traveling that route should be cautious, keep their windows up and remain calm if struck by a pellet.

"The likelihood of being injured severely is small, but we're concerned that . . . glass or debris could injure someone or cause a collision," Barra said.

Extra CHP officers were called in Saturday to patrol the highway and look for clues, Barra said.

A motive for the attack was unknown, and there were no apparent similarities among the vehicles struck, he said.

Barra added that a state highway worker struck by a pellet Thursday may have been a 13th victim, but the connection between that attack and the others could not be confirmed. The worker suffered a wound that amounted to "a blemish," Barra said.

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