Man with long assault record gets nine years for punching blind man

A man with an extensive record of assault convictions was sentenced to nine years in prison for punching a blind man in downtown Austin in 2015.

A Travis County jury on Wednesday found Jonathan Price, 43, guilty of injury to a disabled person, a third degree felony. His punishment range increased to a second degree felony because of a prior conviction for robbery.

According to the arrest affidavit, at about 9 a.m. on Nov. 2, 2015 police responded to a disturbance call at the corner of West 8th and Lavaca streets, a block from the Faulk Central Library. The caller said a man walking on the sidewalk on West 8th shoved and then punched a blind man without being provoked.

The victim, who was with his guide dog, told police he figured he had walked into a traffic box but soon realized he was being assaulted when Price threw a punch, striking the victim in the face. The victim said he stepped back and threw a punch of his own. Price was at the scene when police arrived, and witnesses identified him as the attacker.

At the time of his arrest, Price had been convicted of 11 prior assaults in 15 years, prosecutors said.

The victim reported pain in his jaw and teeth, according to the document. Police reported him having a small abrasion on his left cheek.

Price told police he acted in self-defense, punching the man because the victim was squaring to fight after the two argued over bumping into each other. However, the victim and witnesses denied there was any prior confrontation.

Price’s attorney, Keith Lauerman, said his client will appeal.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Texas Democrats see big jump in turnout on first day of early voting

In the state’s 15 counties with the most registered voters, 51 percent more Democrats voted Tuesday, the first day of early voting for the party’s March 6 primary, than voted on the first day of early of voting for the 2014 Democratic primary. Meanwhile, the number of Republican primary voters on Tuesday increased by just 16 percent in...
Will Abbott take advice on Whitaker’s death sentence?
Will Abbott take advice on Whitaker’s death sentence?

Whether Gov. Greg Abbott spares death row inmate Thomas Whitaker from Thursday evening’s scheduled execution could hinge on how much trust the governor places on the group of advisers who recommended mercy in the case. Spurred by the father who Whitaker tried to have killed in 2003, all seven members of the Board of Pardons and Paroles supported...
Austin police ID man killed in Monday shooting, name officers involved

Austin police have identified a man who was fatally shot during an officer-involved shooting on Monday as 23-year-old Thomas Vincent Alvarez. Police also named seven officers who were placed on administrative leave after opening fire on Alvarez as Matthew Henion, DeAndre Wright, Nicholas Grebhart, Benjamin Rogers, Robert Brady, Rafael Rosales and Khristof...
Hundreds of Austin-area students walk out in wake of Florida shooting
Hundreds of Austin-area students walk out in wake of Florida shooting

Nearly 500 students at schools across Central Texas staged walkouts Wednesday to demand safer campus policies, call for stricter gun laws and show their solidarity with students in Florida after a high school shooting there that left 17 people dead. The demonstrations came one week after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland...
Graham forged deep friendships with Texas political giants
Graham forged deep friendships with Texas political giants

Billy Graham swam naked with Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House, prayed with LBJ at Camp David and said words over the late president’s casket alongside the Pedernales River. He joined George W. Bush for a 1985 dip in the chilly Atlantic Ocean at Kennebunkport, Maine, an unknowing and unofficial baptism for a man close to giving up the bottle...
More Stories