AUSTIN (KXAN) — As the number of rock cases on Interstate-35 continue to increase, the Austin Police Department, with the help of the Greater Austin Crime Commission, is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the attacks.
In a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, Chief Art Acevedo says his department has dedicated thousands of hours of investigative time to try to identify and capture the people responsible for the rock throwing. Since June 2014, police say there have been 52 reports of rock being thrown at vehicles.
“One of my biggest frustrations has been the mistaken belief by members of our community that our police department is not taking these attacks seriously,” says Acevedo. “These attacks are deadly attacks with potential deadly and fatal consequences. We take it seriously. We’re aggressively utilizing our tools. We’re pursuing all leads.”
Acevedo also conveyed frustration about information released about cameras bring installed along the downtown corridor. “The attacks that were centralized have now moved.” Since November of last year, there have been four reports of rock throwing on I-35 near Braker Lane.
While Acevedo says he can’t go into details about what their methods are, he says his agency is working with the Texas Department of Transportation, other city entities and federal partners. Currently, the TxDOT cameras on the freeways do not record, but the various agencies are working together to determine if it is possible to capture the video and store it for a specific amount of time.
As the department continues to work on leads, Acevedo says he’s confident they’ll catch the person(s) responsible. “We’re not going to rest and we’re going to catch you. Idiots like this will get caught. My only hope is that no one gets killed before the person is caught.”
If a rock is ever thrown at your car, you are urged to pull over to a safe spot and immediately call 9-1-1. Police say the sooner they’re notified, they can set up a better perimeter to scour the area for any potential clues.