Temple residents on high alert after man is seen throwing rocks off overpass onto I-35

Published: Jan. 13, 2023 at 9:18 PM CST
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - A Facebook post if keeping residents in Temple on high alert after a man was seen throwing heavy objects like rocks and lumber off an overpass on Interstate 35.

It’s a crime that can span from a simple traffic violation to a homicide investigation.

“We do have experience with in the past is unfortunately people throwing things over overpasses where it ends with someone being hurt or killed,” says patrol Sergeant Casey Sheppard with the Temple Police Department.

In the post the woman says: “If you were driving NB or SB I-35 around 12:30 and were hit with any debris under the bridge between the iHop and 7-11 in Temple I called in a gentleman throwing rocks, trash, lumber and anything else he could over the bridge onto traffic. He also hit a white car in front of me after crossing the crosswalk at the intersection by the 7-11 with what looked like a piece of metal. I hope they were able to get him. But he is liable for your damages.”

Temple police say anytime there’s any property damage that it opens a criminal mischief investigation, as long as no one is injured. But this leaves the victims vulnerable and responsible for damage, because the suspects are harder to catch.

“We can always go to some of the surrounding businesses, especially in these really high populated areas. Hopefully backtrack from there to find a camera angle from another business that might be closer to the individual and help us to actually identify them,” says Sgt. Shepperd.

There is a lack of cameras on the Interstate that record activity, police urge you to report this kind of behavior to them by calling 911 immediately.

It was back in 2019 when a woman was driving under an overpass in Temple and as she was going underneath it, a rock flew from over the edge of the overpass. It went into the woman’s car and killed the mother of three.

Keila Flores, 33, killed in 2019 from rock thrown over overpass in Temple
Keila Flores, 33, killed in 2019 from rock thrown over overpass in Temple(KWTX)

“It went through several stages during the investigation, the actual object that was thrown was sent to the FBI and we were able to get a DNA profile for a potential suspect off of that rock. But unfortunately the quality of that profile was not good enough to enter into any of the national databases,” says Sheppard.

But unfortunately, they exhausted all leads in 2020 and the case has gone cold. That’s why police stress the message that if you see something, say something.

“Any time any member of the public sees someone throwing objects over an overpass towards traffic, we need to know about it quickly and get out there and stop them,” says Sgt. Sheppard.

He adds that it could save a life.

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