A scooter was thrown through the rear windshield of a car during street fight in downtown Austin on Wednesday morning, according to the victim of the incident.
Lawrence Black told KXAN in Austin that he was on his way to work when a man stepped into the intersection and began punching and kicking his car. When Black stepped out of his car to confront the man, the man attacked him.
Black said he had seen the man panhandling in the past.
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“He was trying to cause an accident,” Black said. “He threw a punch at me and I slammed him to the ground and held him there.”
Cell phone video of the incident shows Black pinning his alleged aggressor down and eventually releasing him. The alleged attacker jumps up, grabs a scooter off the sidewalk, and throws it into the rear windshield of Black's car before running down the street.
“At this point I’m just waiting for the police to show up. I’m not going to chase the guy,” Black said.
The Austin Police Department said its property crimes unit is investigating this case as criminal mischief. They said they have not found the suspect yet.
Governor Greg Abott retweeted the cell phone video of the incident, saying, “Is Austin’s policy of allowing the homeless to do whatever they want really helping the homeless?”
Black said he does not attribute the fight to a homeless problem. He said it was likely instigated through apparent drug use.
“There’s a lot of people making assumptions. This guy was homeless, but that is not the problem. The problem going on here is drugs,” Black said. “I just don’t want people to blame it on the homeless. It’s a lack of resources, treatment and counseling available to these people.”
Black thinks Austin residents need to change the way they are seeing the city work through the homeless ordinances.