5 Austin police officers hurt while arresting homeless man

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Henry Parker (Austin Police Department Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Police Department released details Thursday after five Austin police officers were taken to the hospital on Tuesday after trying to arrest a homeless man in downtown Austin. According to Austin Police Association President Ken Casaday, three officers were attacked and two others were taken to a hospital as a precaution.

APD says someone called them around 4 p.m. Tuesday about a man breaking off cars’ side mirrors near 611 Neches St. Casaday told KXAN the man was homeless and the incident took place near both the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless and Caritas of Austin.

Officers found 47-year-old Henry Parker a few blocks away near Sixth Street and the Interstate 35 service road. According to APD, Parker started yelling when officers tried to talk to him and stepped into traffic.

“Despite de-escalation attempts by officers, Parker continued to back away and curse at officers,” police wrote in a release Thursday. “Parker was placed into handcuffs, resisted, and was taken to the ground where he spit at officers and continued to fight.”

The president of the Austin Police Association says five Austin Police officers were taken to the hospital after trying to arrest a homeless man in Downtown Austin. (Photo by Ken Casaday)

APD said Parker bit one officer and scratched another, drawing blood in both cases. Others were hurt in the struggle. APD said Parker was hurt as well and his blood splattered on some of the officers. All five officers and Parker were checked out at the hospital and released Tuesday night, Casaday said. According to the arrest affidavit, the officers’ treatment included blood testing, tetanus shots and antibiotics.

Parker was taken to the Travis County Jail and faces assault on a peace officer and resisting charges.

Tuesday’s attack came a day before the Austin City Council debated a homeless camping proposal that would divide the city into categories for different levels of enforcement.

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