An Austin, Texas man was assaulted by a “well-known vagrant with a lengthy criminal history” after the homeless individual began randomly attacking a group of women.
Austin resident Mark Dolan was jogging across the famous Congress Avenue Bridge, known for housing hundreds of thousands of bats, when he spotted a man punching a woman.
Watch a local news report on the incident below:
A group of four women, all visiting Austin from out of state, walked across the crowded bridge in the middle of the day when the assailant started screaming obscenities and marched toward them.
“We just all said to each other, ‘Do not look up. Do not make eye contact. Just give him his space to walk by,’” said Ashley Goodrich.
“Before I knew it, in my side vision, he just lunged towards me. And the last thing I remember is him saying I’m gonna F*** you up,” Goodrich added.
Cynthia Wagner, who was in town from Georgia, explained, “He just walked straight into our group and started punching my friend Ashley.”
“We were all screaming and trying to push the guy off of her, and Mark just started screaming at us, ‘run, run!’” Wagner said, describing the incident.
Dolan says when he first glanced at the group, he thought the man was going to throw Ashley over the rail and into the Colorado River.
“I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t do something,” he revealed.
Dolan described the tense situation, adding, “I told her to run to the Line Hotel and then I started walking back to the hotel, not realizing he was following me.”
However, the attacker followed Dolan back to the hotel and started punching him.
“I turned to run back to The Line to make sure they’re okay. The guy followed me and, as I entered the door of the restaurant of The Line, he hit me in the back of the head a couple times before I even knew what happened,” he stated.
Dolan told KXAN News, “I just started kicking the guy as best as I could. He wouldn’t back off. He was just a raging maniac.”
At this point, two valet drivers who work at The Line hotel tackled the violent transient and held him on the ground until the police arrived.
“If those guys hadn’t showed up when they showed up, it could’ve gotten a lot worse,” he added.
Dolan received seven stitches on his face and head and suffered bruising on his ear.
Timothy Mitchell, the homeless man behind the attack, is “A well-known vagrant, with a lengthy criminal history,” according to the Austin Police Association.
Mitchell was booked on Monday and faces five charges, including two counts of assault causing bodily injury, possession of drug paraphernalia, public intoxication and one city ordinance violation.
“I don’t ever want to come back here,” said Goodrich, the woman who was assaulted.
Dolan criticized city leaders who have allowed Austin’s tourist zones to turn into dangerous, dirty areas, saying, “Violent offenders, we have got to get off the street. And our leaders need to deal with it in whatever fashion they feel is right.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been monitoring Austin’s homeless situation for months, repeatedly denouncing the city council and mayor for a recent change in the law that allows people to publicly camp essentially anywhere.
Abbott has sent two letters to Austin Mayor Steve Adler and vows to get the state involved if the city hasn’t taken action by November 1.
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