A man accused of firing a BB gun at a car on the 91 Freeway vehemently disputed the charge, telling the Southern California News Group in a jailhouse interview that authorities were “trying to get me to confess to things I didn’t do.”
Jesse Leal Rodriguez, 34, was charged last week with three counts of attempted murder and three counts of assault. Prosecutors say that Rodriguez, a resident of Anaheim, fired a BB gun last week at a Tesla carrying three people in Norco.
The California Highway Patrol is investigating as many as 100 similar shootings that shattered windows and windshields on a stretch of highway from Cerritos to Riverside. Authorities have so far charged Rodriguez only in connection with the single incident in Riverside. No new pellet shootings have been reported since he was arrested last week, a CHP spokesman said.
In the reported interview at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside, where he is being held on $750,000 bail, Rodriguez said no witnesses had tied him to the shootings and he had an alibi — he was at an auto parts store in Temecula around the time the Tesla’s window was shot out in Norco, he claimed.
Rodriguez acknowledged that when the police pulled him over last week, they found in his maroon Chevrolet Trailblazer a BB gun and pellets, but he claimed he had taken the weapon away from his teenage stepson. He said he was “no marksman,” adding, “Do you know how hard it is to shoot a moving car?”
Rodriguez, in the interview published Saturday, said he has been questioned by investigators seeking to implicate him in not just the pellet shootings, but in the death of Aiden Leos, a 6-year-old boy killed in an apparent road-rage shooting on the 55 Freeway in Orange.
“They are trying to get me to confess to things I didn’t do,” he said. “I didn’t do any of them.”