Ore-throwing trucker pleads guilty

CHARDON, Ohio (AP) — A truck driver accused of throwing iron ore at passing motorists because he was angry they wouldn’t turn off their bright headlights pleaded guilty to hurling rocks at two cars.

Glenn Rogers Jr., 40, of Elyria, pleaded guilty Thursday in Geauga County Common Pleas Court to two reduced vehicular vandalism counts, each fourth-degree felonies punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

In exchange for the plea, prosecutors agreed not to pursue charges from other possible victims. Rogers, whose trial was to start Monday, originally pleaded not guilty in December.

The Geauga County sheriff’s office had taken more than 30 calls from drivers who reported broken windshields caused by rocks, beginning in September.

The case had been a mystery to deputies until Dec. 12, when a woman whose windshield was broken followed the truck she believed the rock came from while her husband called 911.

Deputies pulled over the semi-truck and found 15 lemon-sized pieces of black ore, used in steelmaking, in the cab. Bits of ore were found in many of the cars in the previous cases, Sheriff Dan McClelland said.

Rogers told deputies that he was mad at westbound drivers who wouldn’t dim their high beams as he passed them on U.S. 422 in Geagua and Trumbull counties.

Judge Forrest Burt ordered a presentence investigation and background check before sentencing, which he told Rogers would happen in about a month. Rogers is being held in the Geauga County jail.

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