Man says teens threw rocks off Cliff Drive, hitting his car while he was driving

A Spokane man said he was driving Monday night listening to music, then he was startled by a very loud sound, like something hit him.

It turns out, he was right. When Stephen James got home, he realized a piece of glass broke off his sunroof. He said his car needs repairs, but he’s lucky he didn’t didn’t get hurt or cause an accident.

You can see in that video, he was looking up to see what hit him and even slightly jerked the steering wheel after the startle.

This could’ve easily been a different story with a different outcome. Luckily, that’s not the case. But it’s a good reminder – here in Spokane – we have really great spots to hang out and enjoy the view. But remember, there are roads and people below you. People who could be injured or worse, if you’re not being smart.

It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.

“I could’ve swerved and hit another car, I could’ve swerved and hit the side of the road,” James said.

James said he was driving down Ben Garnett Way in Spokane when he was hit.

“I heard a very large impact on the roof of my car, which startled me somewhat,” James said.

James told 4 News Now, judging by the spot he was at, there’s only one place it could have come from.

“I turned right, and right again, and there was some kids on cliff drive that were throwing down on the cars passing beneath,” James said.

He said he confronted those kids about throwing rocks. James said, at first, they denied it.

They didn’t know yet, James has dash cam video that captured the moment it hit.

“Then they said – yeah, we were throwing rocks, but we weren’t throwing them at cars. And then, when I challenged that response – the next one was like – well, I’ll kick your a**. I’m like – okay,” James said.

James called police and got photos of the group he believes put him in danger and damaged his new car while they were at it.

James is an Army veteran. He said that sudden loud bang did more than just damage his car.

“I’ve got nine tours under my belt. Been involved in multiple IEDs. So that kind of startle response in a vehincle is kind of where I went back to,” James said.

Spokane Police said with incidents like this, all it takes is one rock and one driver in the right place at the right time.

“Sometimes intentional, sometimes not. Just kicking boulders and kicking rocks. Not realizing, there’s people down below,” said Sgt. Terry Preuninger, Spokane Police Department.

All fun and games until someone gets hurt.

“I don’t think that they were trying to hurt anyone, I think they were kids being kids. But the nature of what they were doing could have led to something far more serious,” James said.

Luckily for James, the only damage suffered was to his car, not him.

“Cars are fixable. But people, sometimes aren’t,” James said.

James said the damage to his sunroof is going to be cost him up to a thousand dollars.

Spokane Police are reminding everyone, if you throw a rock that causes an accident or an injury – you will not only be held responsible for paying for the damage, you also could face time behind bars.