Father of injured driver speaks after police say teens threw rocks from 787

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Three young teenagers are facing serious criminal charges after police said they tried to pull off a very dangerous prank.

Police said the teens were tossing rocks from I-787 onto passing vehicles below. Richard Zagata is the father of an injured driver. He said his son is lucky to be alive.

“I hope they throw the book at them,” Zagata said.

Around 8 p.m. Saturday, New York State Police said they began receiving calls about kids hurling rocks from a concrete wall along 787 in Albany. One of those projectiles smashed through the sunroof of Zagata’s son’s car.

“He heard a big crash – glass all over him and his girlfriend,” Zagata said. “He was able to pull over safely.”

His son suffered a concussion, and the vehicle was badly damaged.

“If the object got my son in the head, it could have knocked him out,” Zagata said. “He could have lost control of the car. Many things could have happened at the time.”

He said it was only when he picked up his son and his son’s girlfriend from the side of the road, that he realized they weren’t the only victims.

“I took him to the hospital, and we got off at the Port of Albany, and there were a bunch of cars with the trooper cars behind them,” he described.

All the cars had similar damage.

NYSP said they located three teenagers ranging in age from 13 to 15 near the scene. They are facing several charges, including felony criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, criminal trespass and assault.

“It’s very sad to do something like this, and eventually, as they get older, they will think, ‘Geez, I shouldn’t have done that,’” Zagata said.

NYSP said the unidentified teens were turned over to their parents. The damage done to the cars amounted to $4,000.


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