04:52 GMT +326 April 2019
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    US man arrested by Texas' Dallas Police Department for repeatedly punching woman over parking lot confrontation

    ‘He Just Kept Hitting Me': US Man Attacks Woman Over Parking Lot Dispute (VIDEO)

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    Texas bartender Austin Shuffield was given the pink slip from his employer this week after video footage surfaced on social media showing him repeatedly punching a woman for briefly blocking a parking lot exit with her vehicle.

    Shuffield was booked into the Dallas County Jail on Thursday night and charged with aggravated assault, interference with a 911 call and public intoxication after the attack was reported to the Dallas Police Department.

    Local media reports indicate that the incident began at roughly 4:30 a.m. local time, when 24-year-old L'Daijohnique Lee attempted to contact law enforcement officials after her verbal dispute with Shuffield turned physical.

    Dallas police say that prior to the altercation, Lee had been driving down Elm Street in the wrong direction, and that she had pulled into the Deep Ellum Hostel's parking lot to drop off a friend. It was as Lee was dropping her friend off that she blocked the parking lot exit, prompting Shuffield to get out of his truck and ask her to move out of the way.

    After Lee moved her car into the parking lot, Shuffield approached her, attempting to snap a few pictures of her license plates. The pair began to argue, with Lee telling Shuffield "to get back or else she would mace him," she told local news station WFAA.

    Shuffield slapped Lee's phone out of her hand as she was attempting to dial the local authorities, leaving Lee to retaliate by trying to push him away from her. The events that followed were captured on video by a bystander. In the footage, Shuffield is seen punching Lee five times before kicking her phone away.

    ​"I knew I was on a one-way street, but I was stopping literally at the corner to let my friend out," Lee told WFAA. "He charged at me, and he just kept hitting me, and I was like 'ok, ok, ok.'"

    "Watching that video literally makes me cry. All I could do was try and protect myself. He literally sat there and beat me like a man," she added.

    When police arrived on the scene, Shuffield told officials that he'd struck Lee in self-defense after she threatened him with pepper spray and reportedly broke the back windshield of his pickup truck with a jump-start box. Police eventually took Shuffield into custody at the scene after being shown video footage of the altercation.

    "In reality, that recording really helped me, because when the police showed up, it would have been my word against his," Lee said. "It didn't even have to go that far. I just keep thinking why?"

    "It wasn't that serious of a situation," she stressed.

    Police reports indicate that a.45 caliber Glock handgun and a knife were found inside Shuffield's car. Local media reports also suggest that Shuffield pulled out his firearm during the confrontation, but never actually pointed it at Lee.

    Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing Lee, told the Dallas Morning News that his client is being hospitalized for injuries that include possible post-concussion syndrome and cranial swelling. Lee is calling on police to add felony assault and hate crime charges, since Shuffield went on a racially-charged rant prior to the attack.

    "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," the statement reads.

    After catching wind of the attack, High and Tight Barbershop, Shuffield's employer, announced on Facebook that the bartender was no longer employed at the company. "We have finally spoke[n] with police representatives and have terminated this employee. We do not stand behind the action that took place and hope that the full weight of the law comes down on this incident," the post reads.

    Braxton Martin, the owner of the High and Tight Barbershop, told local station KTVT that what happened was "horrific."

    Shuffield is currently out of police custody after posting a $2,000 bond. According to the Dallas Morning News, he was released at roughly 2 a.m. local time on Friday.

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    Tags:
    arrest, Physical Assault, dispute, parking lot, Texas, United States
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