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Dad dies after he steps in, protects daughter from abusive boyfriend who knocked her tooth out: Police

A Texas man who protected his daughter from her reported violent boyfriend has passed from injuries sustained while defending her, according to reports.

CBS Austin reports that Eric Garcia stepped in last Saturday after noticing his daughter’s new boyfriend, identified at Jamie Apodaca, 24, calling the woman demeaning names and accusing her of cheating. According to police, the argument took place inside Garcia’s Austin home, where Apodaca had been living for 10 days after dating the man’s daughter for around a month.

Garcia asked Apodaca to leave the home, and while he left briefly, Apodaca returned within minutes and began arguing with Garcia, the police report read. The suspect then allegedly threw the first punch and continued to hit Garcia several times while inside the home, and punched his daughter so brutally that he knocked one of her teeth out.

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The fight continued outside, where Apodaca is accused of punching Garcia again, causing him to fall and hit his head on concrete. When Garcia’s daughter rushed to help her father, Apodaca allegedly punched her again, landing a blow to her head.

First responders arrived to the residence and transported Garcia to St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, where he remained unconscious for five days. He died on Thursday night. He had intracranial trauma, a herniated brain, and a skull fracture, according to police.

Jamie Apodaca [Police Handout]
He tried to split up a fight. He was such a quiet, nice, humble person, you know. He didn’t really deserve what happened to him, Rock Schouman, Garcia’s friend said, according to NBC Austin.

Schouman said Garcia had a family that depended on him, including a 12-year-old daughter. The friend started a Facebook fundraiser and GoFundMe fundraiser in an attempt to raise funds to help the family with bills and other necessities.

I’m just really worried about his family because it’s not easy, especially if you have younger children. He has a 12-year-old daughter, so I just want to make sure that they’re taken care of because they can’t really fend for themselves right now, Schouman said.

Meanwhile, Apodaca was arrested and charged with several felonies, including two counts of assault, aggravated assault, tampering/fabricating with physical evidence, and evading arrest.

As of Saturday, Apodaca was still behind bars at the Travis County Jail.

Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

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[Feature Photo: Eric Garcia/Facebook]