Austin woman arrested, accused of hitting counter-protester with stick at rally

Austin
FILE - Police lights blue (KXAN File Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A woman was arrested Wednesday after allegedly hitting a counter-protester with a large stick during an anti-gentrification rally in southeast Austin, according to Austin police.

Police report that a group known as The Red Guard was marching through southeast Austin in protest against gentrification. Police say many members of the group were carrying large three to four feet long sticks disguised as flag poles.

According to police, the group stopped at the 1600 block of Wickersham Lane, where they were met by a counter-protest group known as The Texas Nomads. Officers separated the two groups using their bicycles as a fence.

As the groups crossed Wickersham Lane traveling east, police say they noticed they had allowed the groups to become “dangerously” close to each other They report The Red Guard had soon surrounded The Texas Nomads, and before officers could move in to prevent an incident, a large fight broke out.

Police say someone was heard on a megaphone yelling, “these are white-nationalists,” as the groups clashed.

One officer saw a member of the Texas Nomads on the ground bleeding profusely from his head. The wounded man pointed to a member of The Red Guard in a green jacket. The officer says he was able to grab the suspect and pull them from the crowd.

The suspect, identified as 36-year-old Amy Stanford, was taken to the ground and handcuffed. Police say the victim had sustained a three to four-inch gash on his head and his face was covered in blood. The victim required immediate medical attention.

According to the victim, he was 100 percent sure Stanford was the one who hit him on the head with a large stick. Police say body came footage of the incident briefly shows the moment Stanford allegedly struck the victim with what the arresting officer described as a four to five-feet-long stick.

Stanford was arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and her bond is set at $25,000.

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