July 4 fight in downtown Austin ends in homeless man’s death

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Robert Batiste was arrested by Austin Police after alleged manslaughter.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin police have identified a man that died during a fight on July 4 in downtown Austin.

Authorities responded to a call of a disturbance between two homeless men at the 100 block of Fifth Street, near Congress Avenue. Police say witnesses were performing CPR on an unresponsive man, 20-year-old Andre Farwell, lying on the sidewalk as they arrived.

The Travis County Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy and determined the official manner of death to be a homicide, according to APD.

Detectives say witnesses identified the suspect as 63-year-old Robert Batiste.

Witnesses say they saw Batiste chasing after another man and yelling for him to give back his wallet. They say when Batiste caught up, he threw the man to the ground and began assaulting him. Batiste reportedly was pulling the man’s arms behind him as he lay face down on the pavement and then started choking the victim.

Inside the wallet, police found Batiste’s Social Security Card, which they say proved the wallet was indeed Batiste’s.

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