Austin Police say they’ve made at least one arrest in a series of rock throwing cases along a major interstate. Police say 59-year-old Patrick Eugene Johnson is charged with attempted aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
They believe Johnson is responsible for most of the 94 rock throwing cases reported along I-35 since June 2014.
Police say Johnson would allegedly throw rocks at motorists then later return to the scene and offer the victims aid. They believe a copycat is still at large and gave that person a strong message. Police credited new technology for the arrest.
Chief Art Acevedo, Austin PD, “Three individuals out of that 94 series of cases were significantly injured, but by the grace of God, they were not killed by Mr. Johnson and his deadly conduct. And so this police department believes strongly that we will be able to make cases of attempted murder against Mr. Johnson in the near future.”
“We are confident that Mr. Johnson not only attacked you, not only assaulted you, not only tried to kill some of you, but we’re confident that he – after committing his crimes, these vicious, cowardly crimes – turned back and came back to the scene acting as a good samaritan, acting as he was a witness, acting as if he cared, and I’m here to say he didn’t care.”
“Here’s my message to the copycats. We’re not going to stop. Mr. Johnson’s probably going to spend the rest of his life in prison by the time we’re done with him, and if you want to end up being a cell mate, a block mate then go ahead and continue with your copycat because the only thing you’re going to do – the technology and the methods we are deploying we will catch you, and I’m confident that we will be making additional arrests of at least one copycat in the near future.”
Police say they made two additional arrests connected with the case. No word on a motive. Johnson remains in prison with bond set at $250,000.
In celebration of our 20th anniversary, the 4500 employees of Nexstar Broadcasting and NewsCenter 23 will join together in a day of giving to the communities we serve. Follow along as we tell the stories of the local charities we’ll be working with on our Founders Day of Caring.