A Texas man is facing criminal charges after video reportedly surfaced of him punching a black woman amid a road rage dispute on Thursday.
The Dallas Morning News reported that Austin Shuffield, 30, was charged with assault causing bodily injury and interference with an emergency call for the 4:30 a.m. incident in Deep Ellum. Police said Shuffield punched the 24-year-old woman after telling her to move her car.
The woman reportedly claimed she had been driving the wrong way and was turning around when Shuffield confronted her for blocking the parking lot exit. According to a warrant, the woman moved into the parking lot before Shuffield exited his vehicle and attempted to take pictures of her license plate, prompting an argument.
Things reportedly turned violent when Shuffield allegedly slapped the phone out the woman’s hands as she tried to call police.
While Shuffield told reportedly police that he punched the woman in self-defense after she threatened to pepper spray him and broke the back windshield of his pickup truck, a witness claimed the woman only hit Shuffield after he slapped her phone away. The witness also accused Shuffield of striking the woman multiple times with a closed fist, according to the outlet.
Cellphone video shot by a witness appears to show Shuffield slap the victim’s phone out her hands before punching the woman at least five times.
Citing an arrest affidavit, KXAS reported that police located a .45 caliber handgun and a knife in Shuffield’s truck after the row.
Shuffield was freed from jail after posting $2,000 bail. The woman’s lawyer told The Morning News that Shuffield should face felony and hate crime charges as he went into a racist rant before the alleged assault. Her attorney also told KXAS that the woman suffered a concussion in the attack and is getting death threats online.
RE Austin Shuffield. The magistrate judge on duty was solely responsible for the bond amount. The police filed the case…
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for District Attorney John Creuzot told the outlet that his office is investigating the incident and have requested information from the local police department.
According to NBC News, Shuffield worked as a bartender at High & Tight Barbershop, a 20s-themed barbershop and speakeasy. The company reportedly took to Facebook to announce Shuffield’s firing before deleting its account.
The Dallas Observer reported that High & Tight Barbershop posted Friday would be closed this weekend due to being on the receiving end of a “media attack” regarding Shuffield.
The shop wrote, “We do not stand behind the actions that took place and hope that the full weight of the law comes down on this incident.”
***WARNING: The video below contains violence. Please use discretion.***
[Featured image: KXAS video screengrab]