Former employer of Deep Ellum assault suspect denounces his actions
DALLAS - The owner of a barbershop/bar in Deep Ellum spoke Sunday afternoon to denounce the actions of a bartender he fired after the man was seen on video beating a woman.
Cell phone video recorded the fight between former High & Tight bartender Austin Shuffield and a 24-year-old female in the early morning hours of March 21.
The victim told police Shuffield claimed she blocked his pickup truck after she pulled into a parking lot along Elm St.
The two argued, then it got physical.
Shuffield is charged with assault-bodily injury and interfering with an emergency call.
Video of the assault has gone viral, and community activists are now demanding he face more serious charges.
MORE: Suspect accused of Deep Ellum assault could face more serious charges
In the video, it looks as though Shuffield is carrying a gun in his right hand.
The victim, L'daijohnique Lee, told police she tried to call 911, but Shuffield put the gun away and then slapped the phone out of her hand.
The video shows Lee hitting him, then Shuffield punching her in the face five times, before kicking the phone away from her.
Braxton Martin is one of the owners of High & Tight Barbershop and Bar in Deep Ellum, where the 30-year-old suspect worked off and on for the past two years.
Shuffield was not working the night before the alleged assault.
Martin says Shuffield showed no previous signs of violence, and he was shocked when he saw the video.
He says Shuffield was fired immediately and the establishment does not condone his actions at all.
"We do not stand behind Austin Sheffield and those actions, and he is no longer an employee, nor will ever be an employee of mine," Martin said.
High & Tight has been closed since Thursday because of this incident.
Martin said he and his staff have been receiving death threats and have hired private security. They are also working with Dallas police to enhance security.
They will re-open Monday morning.
Martin said several business owners in Deep Ellum are now talking about getting together to host a fundraiser for the victim.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings tweeted that the video horrified him and is unacceptable.