Construction workers target of motorist rage

HANCOCK — Motorists in Hancock have taken out their frustrations about road construction – on the workers themselves.

Road construction in any community can be stressful, but in Hancock, the stress has reached a new level. Motorists may have to deal with backed up traffic, but Hancock Police Chief Wayne Butler said that these construction workers encountered destruction and assault.

“Not only were they being screamed at and yelled at, their equipment was getting hit while they were working out there because of motorists not paying attention and also barrels being hit and tossed into their work zone,” said Butler. “But what disturbed me the most, they were having stuff thrown at them and also being shot with air riffles or air pistols or some sort of pellet gun. This has not happened on one occassion, this has happened on several occasions.”

The chief said the incidents were never reported because the crews did not want to upset the community even more, despite risking their own safety. Police presence has increased in that area, but this hasn’t completely solved the issue.

“We’re just asking that if anybody knows anything about who may have done this or who might be involved in this to contact the Hancock Police Department because it is a misdemeanor and it is an assault,” said Butler. “And again, the construction is almost over. I know people have been frustrated and have been upset with it. We’re just glad that it’s coming to an end now and we should end up with a beautiful project that’s going to be completed here within the next few days.”

The department is encouraging drivers to be more careful, now and during future projects. When driving in construction zones, don’t forget to obey the speed limit, keep a safe following distance and pay attention for workers and construction equipment.