Serial rock thrower injures Austin drivers, damages vehicles traveling on I-35
UPDATE: The Austin Police Department released a statement correcting the date on which the last three incidents occurred. The incidents happened on July 27, not June 27. The original story has been updated to reflect this correction.
The Austin Police Department is asking for the public's help in identifying a suspect who threw large, softball-sized rocks at motorists on Interstate 35.
According to a release by APD, there are four reported incidents over the last two months involving vehicles heading north on the lower deck of I-35 being hit by large rocks. All incidents happened in the early morning hours between 2 and 5 am.
The first — and most serious — incident took place at 2:37 am on June 14, 2014 near the 3200 block of N. I-35. The driver of the vehicle was severely injured and the vehicle crashed on the highway.
The next three incidents took place more than a month later, occurring on July 27 between 2:44 and 4:31 am. In the span of less than two hours, three separate vehicles were hit, all heading north on I-35. In the first incident, a vehicle was hit on the bottom right side of its windshield. The driver was able to recover the rock and turn it in as evidence.
A second vehicle was hit at 3:16 am while approaching the Barbara Jordan Boulevard exit. A large rock hit the passenger side windshield; the driver suffered minor injuries, the two passengers were not injured.
The last reported incident occurred at 4:31 am near the 4000 block, where the lower and upper decks merge. The driver reported hearing a thud and pulled over to find that a rock had caved in a portion of his truck’s grill.
Detective Jarrett Crippen told CultureMap what kind of information the department is seeking. "If you know someone who's been bragging about this, that would be helpful, or perhaps you've seen someone carrying large rocks near the overpass, which would be noticeable," says Detective Crippen.
"At this time we don't have a suspect, but it appears that there's no rhyme or reason to these attacks. They're just random acts of violence," he adds. "In my 22 years on the force I've seen some similar incidents with smaller objects thrown at motorists, but we believe these recent incidents are connected to one individual with express intent to cause bodily harm on several occasions with larger objects. That alone makes it more serious."
Anyone with more information is asked to call Region 1 Detectives at 512-974-5320.