Victim ‘permanently disfigured’ after horrific, unprovoked machete attack in Texas as Austin spirals into chaos with more than 500 police officer shortage

By Maryann Martinez, Texas Bureau Chief For Dailymail.Com

21:21 10 Jan 2024, updated 22:15 10 Jan 2024

  • Victim attacked in popular Austin walking trail frequented by tourists, locals
  • Austin parks and trails unpatrolled by cops as Austin Police Department is ‘gutted’ by +500 officer shortage
  • Teen victim ‘permanently disfigured’ says police union as it calls for elected leaders to hire more cops 

A Texas teen has been left ‘permanently disfigured’ following a horrific and unprovoked machete attack on a popular walking trail in the heart of Austin after a machete-welding man nearly hacked the victim’s arm off, the DailyMail.com can reveal.

The unidentified male victim is fighting for his life at the hospital after he was randomly chosen by an armed man in Town Lake Park Tuesday morning – just south of the city’s famed Lady Bird Lake.

As joggers and walkers hit the trails, the attacker, armed with a giant cleaver, randomly zeroed in on the teen and began the brutal assault.

‘The victim was on the ground and he was actually crawling on all fours, and the guy was striking him,’ witness Nathan Kurten told local station KVUE.

Bloody images of the victim receiving medical care show the man on a stretcher, as first responders raced to stop the bleeding.

‘Went for a walk today on the trail in Austin. Just saw an angry Hispanic man attack a 19 year old white male with a machete. Almost hacked his arm off,’ posted @edgecondition on Twitter.
‘The photos are too gruesome to post. Look at these bloody palm prints on the ground. Stay safe out there, folks. American cities are changing,’ the user commented on his Twitter account
The attack took place in Austin’s Town Lake Park, just south of downtown

‘He kind of rolled over on his back and he was still striking him, and he just didn’t look like he was going to stop,’ Kurten added.

Other parker users called 911 while some tried to get the attacker to stop.

‘The guy continued to walk down the trail, machete in hand. People ran up to us terrorized, saying there was a man with a machete. He was in custody shortly after that,’ posted @edgecondition to his Twitter account.

The unnamed attacker was taken into custody, but for many locals, the incident is the latest example of how the police shortage is impacting their daily lives. 

‘The victim is permanently disfigured as a result of this attack. Yet again, we ask for elected officials to stand up and take the necessary steps to support public safety; stop these seemingly endless attacks,’ said Austin Police Association President Michael Bullock.  

Facing an officer shortage of more than 500 cops, the department has disbanded special units like park patrol and the gang unit, the police union told DailyMail.com.

Bloody handprints show the aftermath of another violent attack in Austin, Texas

‘Our department has been gutted and rearranged to its max,’ Bullock stated.

‘We once had all of these units that were aimed at proactive policing. Well, now we’re looking at units that are reactive just to be able to respond to 911 calls, like we’re looking at standing up units that their sole purpose is going to be responding to high-priority calls, and they’re going to be made up of detectives and non-patrol officers.’

Meanwhile, locals are stunned by the four homicides Austin has already seen in the first 10 days of the new year– something the city had not seen before.

‘This is not how we lived a few years ago,’ Petricek added. ‘This is not normal. This is not what we had seen in Austin a few years ago.’ 

Petricek explained public safety has taken a nose-dive since the liberal city council defunded the police department in 2020.

Austin’s police department is facing a staffing crisis, as efforts to defund it and anti-cop sentiment has lead to officers leaving or retiring in droves

Democratic elected officials slashed the department’s budget by a third, although they were forced to give it back due to a state law that would have punished the city. 

The officer shortage has also meant that detectives have been taken off investigations so they can respond to 911 calls.

But even 911 calls are being impacted. 

Any 911 call that is not considered a life or death situation is rerouted to the non-emergency 311, including home break-ins.

 ‘Austin has become more dangerous,’ she said. ‘All these police units are critical to public safety. If we had parallel critical incidents, we don’t have the manpower to respond to a bank robbery or another incident somewhere else.’

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