Crime

Fort Worth man charged with attacking autistic man at Texas fast-food restaurant

Autistic man attacked in Texas McDonald’s

Hurst, Texas police asked for help to identify the man walking out with two children. The suspect is accused of attacking an autistic man at McDonald's.
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Hurst, Texas police asked for help to identify the man walking out with two children. The suspect is accused of attacking an autistic man at McDonald's.

A 24-year-old Fort Worth man has been charged with assault in the May 26 attack on an autistic man at a McDonald’s in Hurst.

Cleveland James Crawford Jr. was charged on July 19 with aggravated assault with seriously bodily injury after punching 22-year-old Colin Newman of Hurst, police say. Newman suffered two facial fractures and a broken right ankle in the assault.

Jail records indicated Crawford was arrested June 25 on a parole violation.

While he was in the Tarrant County Jail, Crawford became a suspect in the May attack on Newman.

“Basically, a detective received an anonymous tip resulting from the press release and media coverage form someone who gave us the suspect’s name and location in Tarrant County on July 10,” said Hurst police Sgt. Lonnie Brazzel in a Thursday email.

In early June, Hurst police released surveillance video of the suspect and two children who authorities believe are his kids. Detectives hoped someone would recognize the man and contact authorities.

The attack occurred shortly before 11 p.m. on May 26 at the McDonald’s at 1401 W. Pipeline Road in Hurst.

Newman had stopped to get something to eat after his shift had ended at Cinemark Theater at Northeast Mall in Hurst.

“He was walking over to throw his cup away and a child was near there and started talking to him,” his mother, Kristy Newman, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in a June interview.

A man who apparently was the child’s father yelled at the child to get away from him. At the same time, the man yelled at Colin Newman.

“Colin tried to fist bump him like everything was fine, but he wouldn’t,” Kristy Newman said.

The man took the two children out of McDonald’s, but he returned a few seconds later.

The suspect returned and said something like, “Now that the kids are gone, let’s take it outside,” but Newman declined, police said.

At that point, the man punched Newman, and knocked him out. The man then left McDonald’s.

Crawford remained in the Tarrant County Jail on Thursday.

He has a criminal history in Tarrant County, according to court records. Since 2015, he has been charged with robbery, assault, evading arrest and drug possession.

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