DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – CBS 11 News confirms Dallas police are filing aggravated assault charges with a deadly weapon and unlawful carrying of a weapon against former bartender Austin Shuffield in the Deep Ellum assault case.
“An additional warrant was issued for the charge of unlawfully carrying, which Shuffield can turn himself in for,” said Dallas Police Chief Reneé Hall.
The 30-year-old was initially arrested for public intoxication, interference with an emergency call and assault — all Class A misdemeanor charges.
For those who questioned why it took so long for the department to issue additional charges, Chief Hall said this: “The media and the community needs to understand this is a three step process — initial arrest, investigation by our unit, then taking those facts and turning them over to the DA. We don’t get to skip those steps just because someone wants us to.”
However, the department said upon further investigation, the Crimes Against Persons Division added the second-degree felony charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and unlawfully carrying a weapon.‘
Witnesses watched in horror as Shuffield attacked L’Daijohnique Lee, 24, last week.
Lee said she went to the hospital for treatment of what she believed is a ruptured eardrum following the assault.
She said she pulled into a parking lot near Elm and Crowdus Streets when she blocked Shuffield in as he was trying to leave. That’s when Shuffield got out of his truck to ask her to move out of his way because she was blocking the parking lot exit.
When he approached, a dispute followed, which witnesses saw and recorded.
The video shows Shuffield and Lee in a heated argument. At one point, Shuffield pulls out what appears to be a gun and holds it behind his back. After more words are exchanged, he smacks the Lee‘s cell phone out of her hand as she was dialing 911. She reacts by punching him.
Shuffield responds by reaching back, taking a boxer’s stance and punching Lee squarely in the jaw. The video shows Shuffield then hitting her violently four more times in the face and head.
Lee was crouched over, cradling her head as Shuffield beat her. Shuffield then kicks her cell phone violently on the ground.
Owner of the High and Tight Barbershop and Speakeasy, Braxton Martin said Shuffield worked there as a bartender but was subsequently fired.
“From the video itself it shows an aggravated assault to our eyes. That is something needs to be dealt with quickly and swiftly and that’s what we’re trying to do and make sure it’s handled properly,” said Martin.