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Texas Sheriff's Deputy Fired After Allegedly Punching 12-Year-Old Girl In Face

Sheriff's deputy Jack Danford Jr. allegedly attacked 12-year-old girl during BBQ dinner in Austin, Texas, punching her in the face.

By Irina Gonzalez

A Texas pre-teen girl ended up in the hospital and a sheriff's deputy ended up in handcuffs after a recent visit to Oakwood BBQ in Austin. 

Shortly before 8 p.m. on March 3, sheriff's deputy Jack Danford Jr. was sitting in the back of the restaurant with his daughter and her boyfriend. A 12-year-old girl and a small dog were running around near them, and the deputy took a break to pick up the dog and pet it before putting it back down, according to Fox 26 Houston. Court documents obtained by the news organization state that Danford and his daughter, Megan, had been drinking all day. 

After Danford was done petting the dog, the 12-year-old girl started playing with the dog, which is when Danford allegedly jumped out of his seat and tackled the girl, according to Megan. He then began to punch the girl in the face with no clear explanation as to why, according to The Miami Herald.

Quickly, Megan and her boyfriend, Dahvi Winstead, attempted to get her dad off of the girl. Megan said that she tried to kick, grab and hit her dad. Meanwhile, Russell Cope, the victim's stepdad, was unloading wood for the restaurant when the girl went to retrieve his dog, he told the police. Then he heard screams like "bloody murder, like a pit bull was attacking her."

"I seen him on top of her, he was hammer fisting her, it was like UFC style," Cope told Fox 26 Houston. 

According to the court documents, he attempted to punch Danford in the face but the deputy was unphased, which is when Cope kicked him with his steel-toed boot in the head and Danford rolled off the victim. He appeared unconscious. 

The victim, who had no previous interaction with Danford according to Spectrum News, was taken to the hospital to be treated for abrasions, bruises and a pulled muscle, according to KXAN. She said she "thought she was going to die" during the alleged attack. 

"I was like screaming, and saying help and all that," the victim said to Fox 26 Houston.

Onlookers were shocked by Danford's behavior, in particular that the alleged attack seemingly came out of nowhere.

"I was shocked because I knew he was a detective and I thought that they were held to higher standards that there was no way that that would happen, especially to a 12 year old girl," Will Atkins, the restaurant's manager, told CBS Austin. "Nobody has any idea, there was no reasoning, no logical explanation."

Danford was arrested on the scene after a brief struggle, according to CBS Austin, and has since been charged with public intoxication, resisting arrest and injury to a child. He has also been fired from his post in Williamson County. 

[Photo: Oakwood BBQ & Beer Garden/Facebook]

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