On April 30th, 2020, a video surfaced on Facebook showing Austin Park Ranger Cassidy Stillwell approach a group of teenagers and young adults swimming and closely partying on a dock, on Lake Austin.
All that Ranger Stillwell said he was going to do was tell them to spread apart because they were not properly social distancing. As he was engaging the group on the proper use of the park facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, a partygoer decided to film the situation.
In the video, Ranger Stillwell told the group, “Disperse yourselves. You’re not engaging in that six feet of distance with each other.”
Austin Park Ranger pushed into the water
OUTRAGEOUS: 25-year-old Brandon Hicks is accused of pushing an Austin Park Ranger into the water after he approached a group at Common Fords Park that wasn't practicing proper social distancing https://bit.ly/3bQc80h
Posted by CBS Austin on Friday, May 1, 2020
A young man in the group speaks up and says, “I got you man, I got you,” and then proceeds to push Ranger Stillwell off the dock and into the water, six feet away from the group. As the ranger was falling off the dock he grabbed the man’s arm and pulled them both into the water.
His friends obviously didn’t think it was funny because they all shouted at him in a “booing” tone as he scrambled onto the dock and ran away. The soaking wet ranger climbed back onto the dock and went after the partygoer. The young man was later identified as 25-year-old Brandon Wicks and was arrested and charged for attempted assault on a public servant.
CBS Austinsaid The Austin Parks and Recreation Department “is saddened by the action taken against our Park Ranger. We ask that the public treat Rangers with the same respect they wish to be shown to themselves.”