Austin Shuffield, 30, was charged with assault causing bodily injury, interference with an emergency call and public intoxication, the local news outlet learned from an arrest warrant. He was booked into the Dallas County Jail on Thursday night and was released around 2 a.m. Friday after posting $2,000 bail.
According to the warrant, a 24-year-old woman was driving the wrong way down a street and stopped her vehicle. The woman claims Shuffield approached her car and asked her to move because she was blocking a parking lot exit.
A physical altercation began after Shuffield approached the woman’s car to take a picture of her license plates. The woman attempted to call 911 when Shuffield allegedly slapped the phone out of her hand, the report said.
Shuffield claimed to be acting in self-defense accusing the woman of hitting him, threatening to pepper-spray him and breaking the back windshield of his pickup truck. Officials reportedly smelled alcohol while speaking to him.
An eyewitness told police the woman only hit Shuffield after he slapped her cellphone. In addition, the witness said Shuffield hit the woman with a closed fist several times.
Lee Merritt, a civil rights attorney hired by the unidentified woman, said Shuffield should face felony assault and hate-crime charges because he used racist language prior to the assault, reports the news outlet.
“Our office is speaking with the Dallas Police Department and the Dallas County District Attorney’s office to ensure all appropriate charges are pursued including felony assault, firearm and hate crime related charges,” Merritt said.
A video obtained by various news outlets shows a man hold what appears to be gun as he talks to the woman. The man knocks the phone out of her hand, and she hits him in the face. The man is then seen punching the woman at least five times in what appears to be her face or upper body.
Dallas News claims a video shown to the police by a witness led to them arresting Shuffield.
Shuffield, who worked at the High and Tight Barbershop as a bartender, was fired from his job after reports of the incident went viral. The bar’s owner confirmed his termination with Fox 4 News.
“We have finally [spoken] with police representatives and have terminated this employee,” High and Tight said Thursday on Facebook. “We do not stand behind the actions that took place and hope that the full weight of the law comes down on this incident.”
According to DFW Local, Merritt said the woman is recovering from post-concussion syndrome and cranial swelling.
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Jasmine Washington is a beauty-obsessed journalist by day and a trap music connoisseur by night. A lifelong New Yorker, she got her start as an intern at the now-defunct Juicy Magazine. Jasmine joined the EBONY.com team as a writer, penning daily stories on all things Black culture and entertainment.