Felony charges could be filed this week against a 39-year-old man suspected of firing a BB gun at motorists traveling the Moreno Valley (60) Freeway and Interstate 10 in Riverside County.

Ernesto Gonzalez of Armona was arrested and booked into the Smith Correctional Facility in Banning Friday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and throwing substances at vehicles with intent to commit great bodily injury. Charges could be filed Tuesday or Wednesday.

Gonzalez was additionally booked on suspicion of multiple acts of child endangerment, but it was unclear whether those allegations stemmed from the freeway incidents or something else. He’s being held in lieu of $200,000 bail.

The California Highway Patrol’s San Gorgonio office is handling the investigation.

According to CHP Officer Jason Montez, on Friday afternoon, Gonzalez allegedly roamed the 60 freeway between Cabazon and Moreno Valley, targeting vehicles with a BB gun.

Montez alleged that motorists on I-10 in the Banning Pass also were targeted.

At least four vehicles were damaged, according to the CHP spokesman.

The victims were able to provide descriptions that aided CHP personnel in quickly developing leads, and about 3:30 p.m. Friday, the suspect was stopped in the area of Interstate 5 and the San Onofre scales, just south of San Clemente.

Gonzalez was taken into custody without incident, Montez said.

Anyone with information relevant to the investigation was asked to contact the CHP at 951-769-2000.


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