AUSTIN, Texas - Austin police are warning people to be on the lookout as they search for a man who attacked a teenager with a knife early Thursday morning.
"I didn't really know stuff like that happened here in this area," Austin resident Cheryl Ochoa said.
Austin residents were shocked to hear of a teenager brutally attacked on his way to work Thursday morning. It happened a littler after 5:30 a.m.
Austin police and Austin Travis County EMS responded to the Seaholm District of downtown Austin. A teenager was stabbed. He was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
"It’s a stabbing, they’re going to work this case just as hard no matter who the victim is but what makes it more shocking to the senses is that there was a teenager that was stabbed," Austin Police Retired Officers Association President Dennis Farris said.
Austin police has a person of interest. The man was last seen carrying a brown or gray backpack and was wearing a turquoise-colored head covering, black shirt, black pants, and black shoes.
"If you have an officer or officers who may recognize the person and know where they normally hang out, yeah, it would be easy then to go find it, but if you don't have anybody that recognizes him, say this person just recently got to Austin, it's a brand new homeless person, whatever that got to Austin and no one's familiar with them, it's a matter of literally trying to find a needle in a haystack," Farris said.
Austin police said they need the public’s help identifying him.
Person of interest (Austin Police Department)
"If you see this person, you call 911. I don't care if you get put on hold, you stay on hold till somebody answers the phone, and you stay back, you watch them, because this person has already shown the propensity to violence and if you were to go up and confront this person, odds are, they're going to react violently," Farris said.
Until a suspect is in cuffs, Farris said residents should be on high alert.
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"The fact that this does appear to be random should be disturbing to everybody, and anybody that’s in that area of town, until we get this person caught, should be on even more so on their toes than they are," Farris said.
"I hope situations get better here, and I hope this is the last I hear of this, at least of a teenager getting stabbed, it should not be kids, it should not be people, it should not be anyone," Ochoa said.
Anyone with any information may submit their tip anonymously through the Capital Area Crime Stoppers Program by visiting austincrimestoppers.org or calling 512-472-8477. A reward of up to $1,000 may be available for any information that leads to an arrest.