GREENVILLE, S.C. — A South Carolina teen tried to run cyclists off the road with his car, threw fireworks at them and spit at them during a months-long effort to seek revenge for two friends’ deaths in a vehicle accident, the sheriff’s office said.
The case began several months ago when members of the Greenville Spinners Bicycle Club noticed that the same black Hyundai Tiburon had tried to hit multiple cyclists or force them off the road, said Master Deputy Jonathan Smith, a spokesman for the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office. The club began posting warnings on Facebook to look out for the vehicle.
Smith told The Greenville News that investigators know of 11 victims so far and there may be more.
Authorities say the 16-year-old boy was charged with six counts of attempted murder, several assault charges as well as multiple charges of throwing fireworks from a vehicle and taunting cyclists. The name of the boy from Travelers Rest, north of Greenville, was not released because of his age.
Investigators say the teen was angry and blamed bicyclists for causing a wreck that killed 19- and 17-year-old friends in December, though Smith says the cyclists were not the cause of that accident.
“This kid feels like the bicyclists were the ones who caused the wreck and, for whatever reason, he’s trying to take it out on all bicyclists,” Smith said.
Smith says the harassment of cyclists took place between December and April in the northern part of the county, and investigators think there may be more victims who have yet to come forward. Victims told investigators a male spit at them and threw drinks or lit fireworks at them.
The boy remained in custody as of Friday.
Neither Smith nor leaders of the Spinners immediately replied to emails Saturday seeking information about whether cyclists were injured by the teen.