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"

By Benjamin VanHoose
May 05, 2020 09:02 AM
Advertisement

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.

Credit: Travis County Sheriff's Office

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

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.

RELATED VIDEO: Streets in Spain and Italy Surge with People as Coronavirus Restrictions are Eased

In a statement to ABC News, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department asked everyone to be respectful during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and practice proper social distancing.

"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.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.