The Austin Police Department is investigating two new cases of rock throwings on I-35. APD tells FOX 7 that one of them happened at 10:36 p.m. on June 6 on the Southbound side. The other one happened at 11:16 p.m. on the Northbound side.
Although they made an arrest last week in one case, police believe there is another suspect or suspects out there. There have been 85 cases since 2014. A major break has proved elusive.
Recently, in an email to FOX 7, officials announced the investigation would be turned over to APD's Organized Crime Unit. They say a formal announcement is expected in the coming days.
For the past several weeks FOX 7 has been asking TxDOT if it had plans to put signs up along I-35 to alert drivers about the rock throwings. In an email, a spokesperson said they did not.
FOX 7 also posed the question to Austin police. They said signs were needed. They added, although there has been intense media coverage locally, out of town drivers passing through may not know to be aware.
Austin police said they planned to go to TxDOT to ask them to reconsider putting signs up. Electronic signs did go up overnight on June 6 into early morning on June 7. They dot the North and South sides of I-35.
There is a $25,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible.
Austin police have set up a dedicated line for tips: 512-974-7999. Tips can also be provided by downloading APD’s mobile app. Police are also urging any victims to call 911 immediately.
Austin police also providing some information on things drivers need to remember when traveling on IH-35 near the upper and lower deck:
- If you are traveling along the upper and lower deck of IH-35, please be aware of your surroundings as you are driving
- Don’t just look straight ahead. Scan in all directions and use your mirrors to look behind you on all sides. Do this as safely as possible.
- If you can use an alternate route, then do so
- Spread the word to your loved ones or anyone you know that may be traveling in the Austin area about these incidents
- If you become a victim, pull over safely and call 9-1-1 immediately
- Do not touch the area of impact on the vehicle or handle the rock
- Try to know the time and exact location of the impact