Austin man charged after video shows park ranger pushed into river during social distancing warning

Commons Ford Metropolitan Park is currently closed, following the incident

Brandon Hicks, 25, is charged with attempted assault on a public servant after a video surfaced online that shows him pushing a park ranger into a river during a social distancing warning. (KSAT)

An Austin man was seen pushing a park ranger into the river after reminding a crowd to stay six feet apart from each other in a video on social media.

Brandon Hicks, 25, was charged with attempted assault on a public servant, according to a report from the Austin-American Statesman.

The video surfaced on Reddit Thursday and shows the officer reminding a group of park-goers to keep their distance from each other near the lake at Commons Ford Metropolitan Park on Lake Austin.

One of the individuals in the video can be heard reassuring the park ranger, saying “I got you man." Moments later, the ranger was pushed into the lake, followed by echoes of laughter.

The video ended with the park ranger going after the man that pushed him in.

According to the report from the Statesman, Hicks approached the officer from behind in the video and pushed him into the lake. He was taken into custody shortly after the incident.

Hicks is charged with attempted assault on a public servant, which is a state jail felony. He was in the Travis County Jail on Friday and his bail was set at $7,500, according to the Statesman report.

“Brandon’s intentional and reckless action could have caused the Ranger to strike his head on the dock as he was falling, and render himself unconscious in at least 3 feet of water where he could have drowned to death,” the affidavit said, according to KXAN.

Commons Ford Metropolitan Park is currently closed, due to overcrowding after the incident, the newspaper reported.

The person who shot the video told KXAN that they were happy the man was charged. “The park ranger was actually being really sweet and understanding before,” they said.

About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.