Man brutally attacked at random near Barton Springs; suspect at large

A young man is recovering after he was brutally beaten near Barton Springs Pool. The attack happened the weekend before the eclipse, and the suspect is still at large.

A random attack at Barton Springs Pool was the last thing 24-year-old Eliseo Robles, of Dallas, was expecting while visiting Austin with some friends earlier this month. They were in town for a concert by the rock band Vampire Weekend, which was performing during the solar eclipse.

On Saturday, April 6, Robles was walking around Zilker Park. Around 6 p.m., he sat down on the stone steps near the pool entrance. He says he was reading a book, when, totally unprovoked, a man ran up and kicked him in the face with his boots.

"I just felt an impact, and then the glasses flew off. Everything flew off," said Robles. "He kicked me. His shoe went flying off."


Before Robles realized what had happened, the man ran off, and two bystanders began chasing him.

"And then he swam across the spring, and then they lost him," said Robles. "People started screaming, and handing me tissues and stuff because I was just bleeding, like, nonstop."

Medics rushed Robles to Dell Seton, where he had surgery for a broken nose.

"They had to break it back into place and rearrange it," said Robles.

He also had surgery for a broken orbital bone under his eye. He says he could finally start breathing through his nose a week later after doctors removed casts from his nostrils.

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Photo courtesy: Eliseo Robles

"I only have to wear this splint for another two weeks," said Robles. "But I won't be 100% until around a year's time."

Needless to say, Robles never made it to that concert, and he remains shaken by what happened.

"It’s just shocking," said Robles. "This isn't normal human behavior. Like, what drives you to go just do this unprovoked?"

He’s also frustrated by what he calls the lack of action from police after they got his statement at the hospital.

"They told me a detective would reach out. But never heard anything," said Robles.

In a statement late Tuesday, Austin police told FOX 7 in part: "This case is currently suspended due to the lack of leads, however if anyone has information about this incident, submit a tip anonymously through the Capital Area Crime Stoppers Program by visiting or calling 512-472-8477."

"Nothing happened to the guy. He just swam across, got off scot-free. What’s to stop him from doing that again?" said Robles.

Robles was not able to get a good description of the attacker. If you saw what happened or have any information, call Austin police.