Pennsylvania Teens Arrested for Overpassing

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jan 13, 2024 | 0 Comments

Pranks have long been part of the teen coming-of-age process. Senior pranks in high school have given way to social media pranks and the hope to go viral.

Not all pranks are innocent or in good fun. Some can cause serious damage, up to and including death. These pranks not only harm the target but can also have lifelong repercussions for teenagers.

Teenagers may not see the long-term implications of a decision or focus on the moment. Even well-behaved, responsible teenagers can make mistakes. Often, these mistakes are innocent learning experiences. Other times, they have major fallout, up to and including criminal charges.

You can't change the past. When your teen is facing criminal charges, however, you can work with an attorney to limit the damage the charges have to your teen's future. The LLF Law Firm Criminal Defense Team assists families throughout Pennsylvania to help protect their teens' futures. Contact us at 888-535-3686 or on our website.

I-83 Rock Throwing

In October 2023, two Pennsylvania teenagers damaged six cars and caused one minor injury after throwing rocks off an overpass. All six incidents occurred near New Cumberland at the Pleasant View Road overpass of Interstate 83.

A little over a month after the incidents began, Pennsylvania State Police asked the public for help in identifying the perpetrators. The two teens were arrested on Nov. 3. As they're minors, it's unlikely their names will be released or information on the charges made public.

Overpassing Trend

The New Cumberland incident isn't unique. Based on news reports, throwing rocks off overpasses and potentially hitting cars has been on the rise nationwide. One group of Michigan teens even had a name for the practice: overpassing.

The Michigan teens' story demonstrates how the Pennsylvania teens were lucky that no one was more seriously injured. In October 2017, five Michigan teens killed a driver while playing overpassing. Four, who were under 18 at the time of the incident, accepted manslaughter plea deals. A fifth, who was 18 and the instigator of the "game," was sentenced to second-degree murder and served over three years in prison.

During the 2017 trial, the county prosecutor pointed out that the teens hadn't intended to injure anyone. This is a common issue with teen pranks: The prankster doesn't intend to seriously damage or injure anyone, or they don't expect to be caught. That a teen couldn't foresee the outcome may lessen charges, but it isn't a get-out-of-jail-free card.


If convicted, the Pennsylvania teenagers may face a wide array of charges. The state generally avoids incarceration for juvenile delinquency. A judge is more likely to consider the following penalties for juveniles:

  • Diversion programs
  • Fines
  • Counseling sessions
  • Community service
  • Drug tests
  • Loss of driving privileges
  • Electronic monitoring
  • Probation

Pennsylvania, in general, takes a more rehabilitative approach when sentencing juveniles than adults. The underlying goal is less about punishment, as it is with adults, and more about correcting behavior and getting a juvenile back on the "right track."

That doesn't mean parents or families should treat these charges as no big deal. These crimes may affect their child's future education and job prospects. What penalties a teen faces may affect their social life or ability to participate in extracurricular activities.

Protect Your Teen's Future

If your teen is facing criminal charges, you may feel overwhelmed by what to do. The juvenile court system can be confusing.

Your top priority should be protecting your child's future. The LLF Law Firm Criminal Defense Team helps families throughout Pennsylvania navigate the juvenile justice system. Contact us at 888-535-3686 or on our website to tell us about your teen's case.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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