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Park Rangers, Assault, & You:
Don’t push Park Rangers, Especially During a Global Pandemic

A Man In Texas Pushes Ranger Off  a Dock After Being Asked To Socially Distance

Pictured: 25-year-old Brandon Hicks pushing park ranger Cassidy Stillwell off of a dock

Park rangers are just as important to maintaining a crime free society as police officers and should be treated with the same amount of respect. Often around lakes, national parks, and state parks park rangers are found to not only protect wildlife but to also enforce laws. In Austin, Texas at Commons Ford Ranch Metro Park during the summer of 2020 a 25 year old man, Brandon Hicks, pushed a park ranger Cassidy Stillwell, into Lake Austin.

Stillwell approached a group of young adults that appeared to be “unlawfully drinking and smoking” as well as not practicing 6-feet social distancing. He asked them to disperse and several members of the group apologized and said they would be more mindful. Hicks, on the other hand, proceeded to push Stillwell into the lake. It is unclear if he was a part of this group or simply a bystander that reacted poorly. Hicks was pulled into the water by Stillwell. He scrambled out and ran off, later to be arrested.

Hicks later stated to be “embarrassed by his actions and has the utmost respect for law enforcement.” He was charged with attempted assault on a public servant which is a state jail felony.  If found guilty, he could face up to two years in state jail.

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Questions:

1. Were Hicks actions reasonable? Why or why not?

2. What other laws did Hicks possibly break? What about Nevada’s laws? Explain

3. What other charges could he have been charged with if this happened in Nevada?

Be sure to provide full explanations for your answers.  For more details, you can read the article this piece was sourced from here:

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/04/us/social-distancing-ranger-pushing-lake-covid-19-trnd/index.html

Contributed by Saralynn Lindsay




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