Texas Man, 25, Allegedly Pushed Park Ranger Into Lake While He Was Telling Crowd to Social Distance
A representative for the man who allegedly pushed the ranger said he is "embarrassed about his actions and has the utmost respect for law enforcement"
A park ranger in Texas was pushed into a lake while trying to urge crowds to follow social distancing protocols last week.
On Thursday, the ranger was speaking to a group of parkgoers at Commons Ford Park at Lake Austin, attempting to disperse those who weren't keeping six feet apart. In footage of the incident, the crowd members appear to mock the park employee, recording him on their phones before one man shoves him into the water while falling in himself.
According to an arrest affidavit obtained by KXAN, authorities arrested Brandon James Hicks, 25, on a charge of attempted assault on a public servant. Police say the ranger was also trying to stop the crowd from smoking and drinking on park property.
“Brandon’s intentional and reckless action could have caused the Ranger to strike his head on the dock as he was falling, and render himself unconscious in at least 3 feet of water where he could have drowned to death,” police said in the affidavit, per KXAN.
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The Travis County Sheriff's Office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. A representative for Hicks, attorney Mark Hull, told CNN that he is regretful of his actions.
"He is embarrassed about his actions and has the utmost respect for law enforcement, particularly during these unprecedented times," said Hull.
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"Our rangers continue to engage residents on the proper use of park facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic," read the statement. "We ask that the public treat Rangers with the same respect they wish to be shown to themselves. Public support is essential for Austin to meet the challenges of this pandemic."
According to CNN, Hicks is due in court on June 19.
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