Austinites demand answers over rock-throwing incidents

AUSTIN, Texas— The lower deck of Interstate-35 has become dangerous that some people are avoiding it. Since 2014, according to Austin Police, there have been more than 30 cases where rocks have been thrown from the upper deck.

The latest incident happened overnight. That victim was headed Northbound around 12:15 AM when the rock came barreling through his windshield.

In an incident that happened last June, Kenneth Johnson— the most seriously injured victim— was, too, driving Northbound on I-35 when the rock came crashing through. He's been left unable to speak and paralyzed on one side.  

"I will not get on 35," said Johnson’s friend, Alison Queen. For Alison, the rock-throwing, the window crashing is personal. "I want everyone to be aware that something needs to happen before someone actually loses their life over this."

The person who threw that rock is still on the loose, and there are dozens more victims—at least 31. Queen says APD has not been in contact with her about the incident.

"I haven't been able to get any replies or responses from them," she said.

So, she has taken the matter into her own hands and invited almost 2,000 people to join her on Saturday at noon at the APD headquarters to demand answers.

"If we don't catch them, we don't catch them. Maybe there are multiple people doing it, but if we can deter it from doing it more and having more people from doing it then we've reached our goal."

Her next stop is City Hall.

"I would expect any citizen in this community, when they are frustrated, to petition to have the opportunity to come to my office to City Council offices," Austin's Mayor Steve Adler said, adding the constant rock-throwing is a concern at City Hall.  

In a statement, Austin Police told FOX 7,

"The Austin Police Department has been working with various partners to address the rock throwing incidents. This is a very serious matter, that we are not taking lightly. Since these incidents began we have dedicated as many resources as possible to finding the person(s) responsible for these crimes. APD has been looking at all manners in which these crimes are being committed, which include whether or not the rocks being thrown are from overpasses or other vehicles."

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