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Parks report pandemic-related assaults of staff, but police say general trend is of compliance
(Sonia Garcia/Austonia)

Austin park rangers and monitors have been assaulted on at least six different occasions since the pandemic arrived in Austin in March. On Monday, the city's Parks and Recreation department reported staff have been yelled and cursed at, pushed into Lake Austin, threatened with weapons, and punched and pushed to the ground.



from Austin


"It takes a toll on individuals trying to share an educational message to be personally attacked both verbally and physically," Division Manager for Natural Resources Amanda Ross said in a statement.

Travis County Parks has not reported any incidents but echoed the city's reminder that residents should adhere to pandemic precautions such as masking and social distancing.

The Austin Police Department has not seen an uptick in mask-related altercations, either against civilians or their own officers, a spokesperson said Monday. In such altercations, local law enforcement have stressed that their goal is education and compliance rather than arrests.

Four people have been cited for failing to comply with the local public health emergency orders, according to the city's municipal court, and all of the citations were issued in April.

Two other mask-related altercations recently attracted attention.

Earlier this month, a customer walked into the Hyde Park grocery store Fresh Plus without a mask. When staff intervened, the man grabbed a couple of cases of Topo Chico and used the glass bottles to damage the front windows and doors of the store.

Around the same time, local political extremist and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones went viral when a video of him ranting at Barton Creek lifeguards was posted on Twitter. The city requires reservations for some public green spaces as a way to ensure social distancing. Jones, red-faced and screaming into a megaphone at a spars crowd, said he felt this was "an illegal power grab of the people's greenbelt" and said it was "time to free Austin."

The city's parks and recreation department has asked the community to spread kindness, not COVID.

"During these difficult times, we would ask for some grace and understanding as the park system reopens," Assistant Director Lucas Massie said in a statement. "This is new territory for us all."

This story updated Aug. 26 to include the city's response to a public information request filed by Austonia.

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Comedy, live music, McConaughey Q&A: Events in Austin this weekend

(Paramount Theatre)


💈 Finley’s Pop-up Barbershop

Experience luxury grooming the old-fashioned way at a revival of the Driskill Hotel’s early 1900s barbershop put on by Austin-based Finley’s. The pop-up will offer men’s haircuts, beard trims, hot towels, neck massages and straight razor shaves. Click here to book an appointment.

9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday | The Driskill Hotel, 604 Brazos St.

😂 Moontower Comedy Presents Hannah Gadsby

Catch veteran Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby touring with her newest show, “Body of Work,” written while she pondered the effects of the pandemic. Tickets are still available in the orchestra section, starting at $60.

Doors at 6 p.m. Friday | The Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave.

🎤 Rex Orange County Who Cares? Tour

Alexander James O'Connor, AKA Rex Orange County, is returning to Austin to perform his newest album, “Who Cares?” Tickets are still available starting at $49 each.

Doors at 7:30 p.m. Friday | Germania Insurance Amphitheater, 9201 Circuit of The Americas Blvd.

⚾️ Round Rock Express vs. El Paso Chihuahuas

Catch our local Minor League team play against the El Paso Chihuahuas at home this week. Tickets start at $22.

Starting 7:05 p.m. Friday | Dell Diamond, 3400 E Palm Valley Blvd.

🎶 Bleachers—The 2022 Tour

Enjoy a night of indie-pop from Grammy-winning producer Jack Antonoff, whose stage name is Bleachers, from the intimacy of Stubb’s. Tickets are still available starting at $33.

Starting 7:05 p.m. Saturday | Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheater, 801 Red River St.

🎸 The Peterson Brothers with Latasha Lee

Catch the groovy, Bastrop-born brothers are taking their rightful place on stage with soulstress Latasha Lee at Antone’s. Arrive early, seating fills up quickly! The show is 21+ and tickets start at $15.

Doors at 7 p.m. Saturday | Antone's Nightclub, 305 E 5th St.

🤠 Emmanuel Acho and Matthew McConaughey Q&A

Famous former Longhorns Emmanuel Acho and Matthew McConaughey are joining forces for a Q&A about catching greenlights and living a limitless life. Each ticket will get the holder a copy of Acho’s new book, “Illogical: Saying Yes to a Life Without Limits.” Tickets are $39 per person.

1:15 p.m. Sunday | LBJ Auditorium, 2313 Red River St.

⚽️ Austin FC vs. Orlando City

Austin FC is facing off against Orlando City at the biggest party in Austin, Q2 Stadium. Tickets are still available starting at $65 but ticketless Verde fans can still support at one of the many Pub Clubs.

7 p.m. Sunday | Q2 Stadium, 10414 Mc Kalla Pl.