The Margin: Meanwhile, in Texas: Park ranger pushed into lake for asking visitors to follow social-distancing guidelines

The Margin: Meanwhile, in Texas: Park ranger pushed into lake for asking visitors to follow social-distancing guidelines

5 May    Finance News

Give them an inch, and they push a park ranger in the lake.

Earlier, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced his phased plan to reopen the Lone Star state, which allowed for people to visit parks, hunt, jog, fish, etc. as long as they practice social-distancing.

Some complied, many others did not. Put Brandon Hicks in the latter camp.

The 25-year-old, part of a group that was apparently illegally drinking and smoking around 5 p.m., was charged with attempted assault on a public servant and jailed on Friday for shoving an Austin park ranger into the lake, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

The ranger, as the video suggests, was reportedly just calmly asking everybody to social distance. Here’s the incident, which was a hit on social media over the weekend:

Austin police officer Justin Berry, who arrested Hicks, told the paper that park rangers are just “out there doing their jobs” as more Texans disobey the rules.

“We just want to remind people to please be respectful and mindful that they’re working to make our parks a welcoming environment to everyone,” Berry said. “Everyone’s been going to the parks, so the parks have been completely overcrowded.”

The Commons Ford Metropolitan Park was temporarily closed due to the overcrowding after the Hicks assault. Berry said that several people came to help the ranger and apologize. “That’s the Austin we know, and that’s the Austin we love,” he added.

Of course, Texas isn’t the only place where people are pushing boundaries. Images of crowds across the country have been popping up on social media for days now.

Like this from Washington, D.C.:

Then there’s this footage from Huntington Beach, Calif.:

And in Miami, South Beach’s most popular park was just forced to shut down again:

Meanwhile, a new study shows how stay-at-home orders have been effective in curbing the coronavirus outbreak. The number of COVID-19 cases fell by up to 43.7% in some areas roughly three weeks after the implementation of shelter-in-place orders, according to a working paper distributed Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Still, as of Monday, the tally has reached 1,161,804 confirmed cases and 67,798 deaths in the U.S., of which 18,925 were in New York City, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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