Man Accused in Deep Ellum Beating Bonds Out of Jail, Shaves Beard

NBC 5 News

The man accused of beating a woman outside a Deep Ellum bar last week has once again bonded out of jail.

Austin Shuffield was arrested and booked into jail Friday morning, according to jail records, on a charge of unlawfully carrying a weapon. After paying the $1,000 bond, Shuffield, who is now clean-shaven, was free to go Friday.

Shuffield currently faces three charges stemming from an incident recorded on video in the early-morning hours of March 21 including the weapons charge, misdemeanor assault and interfering with an emergency call. The charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon has been referred to a grand jury.

Last week, a bystander recorded the parking lot confrontation between Shuffield and L'Daijohnique Lee that began after she stopped to avoid driving the wrong way on one-way Elm Street.

Tommy Noel, The Dallas Morning News

In the video, you can see the man identified by police as Shuffield pull out a weapon, then put it away before he slaps a phone out of a woman's hand. The woman, identified by police as Lee, then hits Shuffield who retaliates by punching her multiple times.

According to a report by The Dallas Morning News, Shuffield said he pulled out his weapon because he feared for his life and that Lee said she was calling for help -- and for her friends to come shoot him.

During a news conference Thursday, Lee's attorney, Lee Merritt, said they were pleased to learn about the additional charges but still feel the case should also be classified as a hate crime due to Shuffield pulling out a weapon, the nature of posts on his Facebook page and some of the language allegedly used during the incident in the parking lot.

The man accused of beating a woman outside a Deep Ellum bar last week was arrested and booked into jail Friday morning, according to jail records. A bystander caught the incident on video which has been circulating online.

Merritt said Lee will cooperate fully in the Dallas County District Attorney's investigation and will be interviewed by DA John Creuzot.

"We believe that following the D.A.'s investigation, hate crime enhancements will be warranted," Merritt said Thursday.

Lee said she suffered a concussion in the attack and other injuries including swelling in her jaw, a black eye and an injury to her ear. Merritt said Lee had been to the emergency room three times since the attack, most recently on Sunday, and had received referrals to a facial surgeon and a psychiatrist.

"My body still hurts. Everything still hurts," Lee said.

The woman attacked and beaten in a Deep Ellum parking lot is expected to speak out Monday as activists call for more serious charges to be filed against her attacker.

Lee said her attacker walked around her car, photographed her license plate and may have learned where she lived. Earlier this week Merritt said his client felt unsafe inside her home and has been staying in a hotel.

Merritt said he planned to file a civil rights claim against Shuffield and his former employer High & Tight Barbershop and Bar. Merritt said Shuffield's employer had a responsibility to protect the public and that Shuffield expressed a hostile and racist nature online.

Shuffield could not be reached Thursday. A neighbor at his Dallas apartment said he has moved. Shuffield's landlord said his is also looking for the man.

Shuffield, who has shaven the long beard clearly visible in the video, declined to comment to reporters Friday at the Dallas County criminal courthouse, according to the Morning News.

Dallas police have filed aggravated assault charges in a beating caught on camera outside a Deep Ellum bar last week.
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