UPDATE @ 3:30 p.m. EST:
WFAA reported Wednesday afternoon that the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office has declined to prosecute L’Daijohnique Lee for felony criminal mischief, charges Dallas police filed against her earlier this week. Late last month, Lee, 24, was reportedly filmed being assaulted by Austin Shuffield, 30, during a road rage dispute in Deep Ellum.
District Attorney John Creuzot contacted the magistrate to have the arrest warrant against Lee rescinded. Creuzot decided not to try a case against Lee as they intend to prosecute Shuffield, according to the news station.
A Texas woman who was filmed being punched by a bartender in an apparent road rage dispute has been charged with felony criminal mischief in connection with last month’s incident.
According to WFAA, Dallas authorities criminally charged L’Daijohnique Lee, 24, for damaging Austin Shuffield’s pickup truck after he assaulted her in a Deep Ellum parking lot on March 21. Shuffield’s arrest affidavit stated that Lee used a jump box, which charges a car battery, to break his back windshield.
“She admitted to committing that offense that night,” Deputy Chief Thomas Castro said.
Dallas police said they waited to charge Lee as investigators resolve how much damage was done to Shuffield’s pickup. Police said he submitted an estimate this week for $3,000, which detectives approved on Monday, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Lee reportedly claimed she was driving the wrong way and turned her car around when Shuffield, 30, confronted her for blocking the parking lot exit. According to a warrant, Lee moved into the parking lot before Shuffield exited his vehicle and attempted to take pictures of her license plate, prompting an argument.
Things turned violent when Shuffield allegedly slapped the phone out Lee’s hand as she tried to call police. Cellphone video shot by a witness appears to show Shuffield then strike Lee at least five times.
Lee’s lawyer, Lee Merritt, previously said Shuffield should face felony and hate crime charges as he allegedly had a racist rant before the alleged assault. Merritt also told KXAS that the woman suffered a concussion in the attack and is the target of online death threats.
KXAS reported that police located a .45 caliber handgun and a knife in Shuffield’s truck after the row. Reports stated that Shuffield was filmed holding the gun, which he allegedly doesn’t have a license to carry.
In light of Lee’s criminal charges, Merritt took to Twitter and wrote, “He brandishes a gun, knocks away her phone when she tries to call for help— then beats her mercilessly with blows to the head. DPD just found a way to charge HER with a felony.”
While Shuffield has since been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and unlawfully carrying a weapon, he was originally charged with assault causing bodily injury and interference with an emergency call—both misdemeanors.
Lee’s felony charges come weeks after a spokesperson for District Attorney John Creuzot told The Dallas Morning News that his office is investigating the March 21 incident and has requested information from the local police department.
The district attorney’s office said this week that they only learned late Tuesday afternoon of the Dallas police’s intention to arrest Lee.
The statement said, “The District Attorney had no prior knowledge that an arrest warrant was issued. When and if charges reach the District Attorney’s Office, we will take appropriate action.”
***WARNING: The video below contains violence. Please use discretion.***
[Featured image: KXAS video screengrab]