A Texas park ranger advising revelers at a lake to practice social distancing because of thecoronavirus pandemicwas shoved into the water.
The ranger, identified in an Austin police report as Cassidy Zukeran Stillwell, was telling a group of parkgoers at Lake Austin to spread apart when he was pushed. Thursday’s scene wascaptured on videoand shared on social media.
“Disperse yourselves,” Stillwell can be heard saying in the video. “You’re not engaging in that six feet of distance with each other.”
“I got you man,” a reveler responds. “I got you.”
Shortly afterward, a man pushes the ranger with one hand, and, as the ranger begins to fall, he grabs the man but slips and becomes fully emerged in the water.
Brandon James Hicks, 25, was arrested on suspicion of assault on a public servant and damaging city property, the ranger’s emergency radio. Officials said he could have “caused the Ranger to strike his head on the dock as he was falling, and render himself unconscious in at least three feet of water where he could have drowned to death,” according to apolice reportobtained by NBC affiliate KXAN.
The state on Friday began allowing retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls toreopenwith limited capacity following a month of widespread isolation orders sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.
Gov. Greg Abbott’s stay-at-homeorderin late March did not prohibit people from visiting parks.