The Police NewsAustin, TX
Man Accused of Shoving Texas Park Ranger Into Water Faces New Charge
A 25-year-old man accused of pushing an Austin park ranger into the water at Commons Ford Metropolitan Park last month is now also accused of threatening to kill the officer who arrested him, authorities say.
AUSTIN -- A 25-year-old man accused of pushing an Austin park ranger into the water at Commons Ford Metropolitan Park last month is now also accused of threatening to kill the officer who arrested him, authorities say.
Brandon Hicks was first charged with attempted assault on a public servant — a state jail felony — after video footage captured a man, who Austin police believe to be Hicks, pushing the park ranger off a boardwalk along Lake Austin on April 30.
The ranger was reminding a crowd that had gathered to practice coronavirus-related social distancing and stay 6 feet apart, the video shows. The ranger was speaking to a group of people who were illegally drinking and smoking at the park around 5 p.m., according to the affidavit.
Hicks approached the ranger from behind and pushed him into the lake, the affidavit says.
However, a second arrest affidavit filed May 6 alleges that Hicks committed another felony directly after the incident.
Authorities in the second arrest affidavit said an officer was flagged down by bystanders to report the shoving of the ranger.
The officer searched nearby and found Hicks sitting inside of a vehicle, the affidavit says. Hicks immediately became aggressive and started yelling homophobic and racial slurs toward the officer, according to Austin police.
Austin police eventually put Hicks in the back of a patrol vehicle, where he attempted to kick through the Plexiglas divider inside, officers said.
During a 30-minute drive to jail, Austin police said Hicks made 13 threats of violence toward the officer.
"Boy, I'll put a bullet in your head," Hicks said to the officer.
"I want you dead, honestly," he said a few minutes later, according to the affidavit. "I want you dead. I hope the cartel puts a bullet in your head. I hope your family watches the news as they say 'missing cop' and I don't care, I hope they pin it on me, cuz I'll laugh in your face as you die laying in a ditch."
Officers said they believe Hicks was under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both.
Hicks was charged with retaliation, a third-degree felony, in addition to his third-degree felony charge of attempted assault against the park ranger.
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