Mayor Adler encourages Austinites to stay vigilant in midst of package explosions
AUSTIN, Texas - “They can leave the package on your mailbox, they can leave for package on your door, they can leave the package on your car,” said Galindo Street resident Mariano Sanchez.
On Monday morning the third package explosion in 10 days mystified Austin and the whole country. On Galindo Street, a 75-year-old Hispanic woman was taken to the hospital after Police say she picked up a box-like package left on her front porch.
Sanchez has lived on Galindo for more than a decade. His wife called him after she heard a blast down the street.
“We didn’t know what was happening and then I told her ‘are you okay, is everybody okay?’ She said ‘yes’ and we hang up. Two minutes later, APD were knocking on the door ‘ just get out, get out’” Sanchez said.
For Galindo Street residents like Sanchez, caution is the word.
“Especially teenagers not to open the door. Not to open any package. Even the letters. They go to the mailbox and grab the letters...no no no,” Sanchez said.
Austin mayor Steve Adler spoke with the press at the crime scene Tuesday morning.
“If suspicious packages are showing up we don’t want people to touch them. If there’s any doubt in someone’s mind and they’re thinking ‘maybe this is suspicious, maybe it’s not’...when in doubt call 911,” Adler said.
While the injured recipient of the third package is Hispanic, Interim Police Chief Brian Manley pointed out African American families were affected by the first 2 devices. Manley said he couldn’t rule out a hate crime.
Adler says there are very few data points to go on.
“My understanding is that our local law enforcement are not drawing any conclusions yet as to what that might mean. If you do that too early you might not ask questions that you should ask or you might overlook something that you shouldn’t overlook,” Adler said.
Sanchez says he’s thanking God he and his family are safe.
“We only watch it on the news and TV’s and some other incidents in other cities but never thought about this neighborhood,” Sanchez said.
“We are still one of the four safest big cities in the country. And this incident that’s happening now, these combined incidents are something that we have the capacity and training and the force and the expertise to deal with and we are,” Adler said.
We asked Mayor Adler if there’s any stepped up security at City Hall. He says there isn’t. He’s just making sure those that work there get the same message he’s sending to the community.