New charge filed against serial rock-throwing suspect
A new charge has been filed against the man who Austin police say is the serial rock-thrower. Court paperwork shows he called 9-1-1 more than 100 times. All of those calls put him on I-35. He is also accused of going back to the scenes of the crimes, even chatting it up with a victim.
Patrick Eugene Johnson now has two rock-throwing charges against him. This latest charge is for the most severely injured victim, Kenneth Johnson.
In June of 2014, Kenneth Johnson was traveling on the lower deck of I-35 when police say a rock went through his windshield, bounced off the dash and struck his face. The impact caused the then 36-year-old to crash. Officers found him slumped over unconscious, his head misshapen.
Almost two years later, 59-year-old Patrick Eugene Johnson, the man who police say is behind the crime and nearly 100 other similar rock-throwing incidents is charged with aggravated assault.
Kenneth remains partially paralyzed. He cannot speak, so his mother speaks for him.
"It feels really good. Kenneth seems to be a lot more relieved knowing that he's caught,” said Barbara Goodwin.
In paperwork for the new charge, police say Johnson called 911 minutes after Kenneth’s car was struck to report he saw the vehicle crash into the median.
"I would just like to know why,” said Goodwin. ”What kind of person you know goes back to the scene takes pictures, calls 9-1-1?"
Police say Johnson called 9-1-1 more than 100 times while on I-35 to report anything from reckless driving to the rock-throwing crimes. One victim says Johnson drove up to his vehicle as he waited on police to take a report claiming to be a witness.
The evidence continues to mount. Police noted at least nine instances where Johnson either called or a license plate reader placed his vehicle in the same vicinity of rock-throwing attacks.
While an official charge offers Kenneth Johnson's family relief, the ultimate consolation would be knowing Johnson could never get out of jail.
"He almost killed my son,” said Goodwin. "If he went back to that scene he knew that he hurt him so bad. I can't believe he would do it again and I think he should be in prison for the rest of his life."
Johnson's bail now stands at $850,000 as he is also charged with hurling a rock at a UTPD officer and aggravated sexual assault for a completely separate matter. He is due in court July 21st.