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Sunday, Apr 22, 2018
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Cars, HART buses pelted with concrete in east Tampa

TAMPA — Someone has been throwing pieces of concrete at passing cars and HART buses, causing police to increase patrols in the area.

Tampa police said five Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority buses and five vehicles have been struck in the last month by pieces of concrete blocks thrown at windshields and rear windows. No one has been injured, said Janelle McGregor, a police spokeswoman.

The incidents are happening in the evening near 50th Street and Melbourne Boulevard in Tampa, McGregor said.

The first incident occurred on Jan. 23 and involved a bus. The most recent incident was Monday, when two buses were struck. On Sunday night, five vehicles were struck by pieces of concrete blocks, McGregor said.

“They are big enough to shatter a window and cause damage,” McGregor said. She estimated the damages in the thousands of dollars.

Investigators suspect the suspects are teenagers, McGregor said. The suspects could face several charges, including a felony charge of throwing a deadly missile, she said.

Investigators are asking residents to keep a look out and contact police if they see something suspicious, McGregor said.

“Our main objective is to take this suspect or suspects into custody before their reckless behavior causes someone to get injured,” McGregor said.

Because of the incidents, HART made a safety detour Tuesday night for the Route 6 bus along Melbourne Boulevard and 50th Street. Under the detour plan, the HART bus route skipped three bus stops between 6 p.m. and midnight at Melbourne Boulevard and 49th Street, 50th street and 23rd Avenue and 50th Street and 26th Avenue, said Sandra Morrison, a HART spokeswoman.

HART officials, though, decided Wednesday to resume the regular bus route because the change confused riders.

“We're confident everything will be OK and this will be resolved fairly quickly,” Morrison said.

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(813) 259-7659

Twitter: @jpatinoTBO

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