Search warrant: APD closing in on rock throwing copycat

The Austin Police Department issued a warrant to search the apartment and vehicle of a suspect believed to be involved in some of the rock throwing cases. This comes a day after Police Chief Art Acevedo announced that APD arrested the man they believe is responsible for the "lion's share" of rock throwing cases along I-35.

There have been over 85 cases since 2014.

Patrick Eugene Johnson a former tow trucker of Austin was arrested on Thursday by APD. Johnson has been charged with Attempted Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Third Degree Felony.

“We know there are a couple of copycats running around out there and we already have one in our sights and we anticipate an arrest on that individual,” said Acevedo during a press conference on Thursday. APD filed the warrant to search the apartment and car of a man they believe may have taken part in some of the rock throwing cases.

FOX 7 is not identifying the man because he has not been charged with a crime.

According to the search warrant, the suspected copycat was pulled over by police on June 9 for an unreadable license plate. During the stop, police say they noticed a rock underneath the passenger seat and the man claimed he kept the rocks “to throw at raccoons and other animals at his old house.”

The warrant goes on to say the officer conducted a consent search which yielded three more rocks similar in size to those used in other rock throwing cases.

The search warrant asks APD officers to seize and search the property and vehicle for:

  1. Rocks, ranging in approximate sizes from baseball to softball size consistent with road aggregate or landscaping material
  2. Trophies, articles or any other items that are related to the "Austin Rock Throwing" incidents over the past two years
  3. Computers, hard drives, thumb drives, cell phones, or any digital device that may lead to the discovery of these trophies, articles or any other items related to the "Rock Throwing" incidents
  4. Articles of personal property tending to establish the identity of persons who have had or had dominion and control over the place(s) and vehicles to be searched, including rent receipts, utility bills, telephone bills, addressed mail, personal identification, vehicle titles, proof of vehicle liability insurance, keys, purchase receipts, and sale receipts. 
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