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As Rock Throwing Continues, APD Floats Closing I-35 Lower Deck Overnight

Austin Police say they are considering closing the lower deck of I-35 at some times of night, after a string of more than 80 incidents involving large rocks being thrown at cars along highways in Austin.

APD gave an update on their efforts to address the rock throwing Wednesday after several more incidents over the weekend.

“We’re doing everything we can to catch the person or persons responsible for these heinous acts,” said Asst. Police Chief Chris McIlvane.

APD has declined to provide specifics on the investigation because they did not want to compromise their efforts.

But many of these incidents have happened between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. on the I-35 lower deck in Central Austin, which has led to suggestions that part of the highway be closed during that time.

“At this point, we are not ruling anything out,” McIlvane said. “Potentially closing the lower deck and only using the upper deck through that time period is a possible strategy. I don’t see it as the solution, especially considering the fact that we do know that we’ve had incidents outside of that area of 35. So while it is something we would absolutely be willing to explore with TxDOT, it’s just one of many areas that we’re exploring to try and bring closure to this.”

McIlvane did offer some advice to anyone using that stretch of road in the overnight hours:

·         Be aware of your surroundings.

·         Use the outside lanes of the road.

·         If you can find an alternate route, do so.

·         If your vehicle is hit by a rock, pull over safely and immediately call 911.

·         Don’t touch any potential evidence, including the rock.

The Greater Austin Crime Commission is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Watch APD's update on the rock throwing incidents:

Matt Largey is the Projects Editor at KUT. That means doing a little bit of everything: editing reporters, producing podcasts, reporting, training, producing live events and always being on the lookout for things that make his ears perk up. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @mattlargey.