Police investigate "bleach bomb" attack - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Police investigate "bleach bomb" attack

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Austin Police are investigating a report of a bleach-filled balloon thrown at an African American student in West Campus. This comes nearly a year after similar reports. Thursday afternoon UT junior Bryan Davis was walking to his friend's apartment near 23rd Street and Pearl when he says a liquid-filled balloon was thrown at him.

"I kind of just hear something exploding near me and I feel a light sting on my leg," Davis told FOX 7.

He thinks the balloon was filled with bleach and was thrown from a balcony at the University Towers apartment complex.

"I just remember looking up and thinking I saw the back of someone's head. By the time I looked up they were basically gone."

Davis believes he was targeted because he's African American.

"People might look at it as a prank, but to be a minority at such a large school, even pranks like this, it doesn't come off the way you think it might when you're doing it. For me, it was kind of humiliating and embarrassing."

Last fall, a minority student reported a similar incident in the same area of West Campus. Police were not able to find a suspect in that cause, but have started a new investigation.

"They (detectives) might be able to go out and look in the area and see who had surveillance cameras out there or any potential witnesses that were in the area that could have seen something," said Austin Police Department Cpl. David Boyd.

While some may see dropping a water balloon as just a prank, if a balloon is filled with more than just water then that can be harmful and police take that seriously.

"If anybody were to get bleach thrown at them in their eyes it could be a very serious situation where it could potentially blind you," Boyd said.

"It could have seriously physically injured someone," said Davis. "And the fact that this has happened before and other students have reported this and it's not stopping, why shouldn't that be taken seriously?"

A University of Texas spokesperson released this statement:

The University of Texas at Austin has long been committed to promoting diversity and ensuring respect and inclusion throughout the campus community. Our university should be a haven and home to students of all backgrounds. Austin Police are investigating the allegations about an incident off campus and we are anxious to learn the results. University police will work closely with APD on the investigation. The Dean of Students and our campus climate response team, which coordinates the university' response to bias incidents, is actively reviewing these allegations and also prepared to work with Austin Police on their investigation.

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