A man described as a transient living in a tent near Highway 101 in Redwood City has been charged with throwing rocks at cars traveling on the highway on three separate occasions, including an incident on Sunday that seriously injured a passenger.
Earl Clayton Adams, 37, has been living in a tent behind the Good Nite Inn at Veteran’s Boulevard and Whipple Avenue and suffers from “serous mental health injuries,” according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office. Just after 1:30 p.m. Sunday, according to prosecutors, Adams was walking alongside the freeway when he allegedly threw a 3.4-pound, 5-by-6-inch concrete rock at a car traveling southbound.
The rock shattered the windshield and struck a 42-year-old male passenger in the head. The victims stopped the car and called 911. The passenger was then rushed to Stanford Hospital, where he was in the intensive care unit with skull and orbital fractures, two brain bleeds and a head laceration requiring 50 sutures, prosecutors said. The driver, a 41-year-old woman, suffered cuts and bruises.
An investigation led California Highway Patrol officers to Adams’ tent. The driver of the car positively identified Adams as the rock thrower, prosecutors said. The CHP believes Adams could be responsible for two prior incidents of throwing rocks at cars, on Dec. 30 and on Jan. 8. No injuries occurred in those incidents.
According to prosecutors, Adams “indicated he heard voices and threw the rocks due to mental illness,” adding that he’d also smoked methamphetamine prior to throwing the concrete rocks.
Adams remains in custody with bail set at $4 million. He was reportedly being kept in COVID-19 quarantine in jail because he refused to be tested for the virus during booking. He is set to appear for initial felony arraignment in a Redwood City courtroom on Feb. 1, prosecutors said.
Photo credit: CHP