A suspect has been charged with two counts of injury to a child, a third-degree felony, after he allegedly punched two children in the face for no apparent reason, according to Austin police.
On Dec. 29, police responded to a disturbance call at a Shell gas station located at 1211 Montopolis Drive after a man reported that his 5-year-old nephew was hit in the face by a male suspect.
When police arrived, the man stated that the suspect, who police identified as 23-year-old Qvontay McKnight, allegedly punched the 5-year-old and caused the victim to suffer from a lump on the left side of his head. Upon further investigation, the man stated that he has seen McKnight in the area several times and that he goes to the store to ask people for money.
According to the affidavit, the man said that he was walking to the entrance of the gas station when McKnight started yelling at him and the victim for no reason and then ran toward them. McKnight then allegedly bent down, swung his fist and hit the victim on the left side of his head. He then allegedly started running away.
On Jan. 2, police returned to the Shell gas station to review surveillance video which police said showed McKnight running up to the victim and punching him in the face.
Police also noted that this case was similar to another injury to a child case that occurred on Dec. 4 around the same area.
In the other injury to a child case, police were called to the same Shell gas station after a woman reported that her 3-year-old granddaughter was hit in the face by a man that day.
According to the affidavit, the grandmother and the victim were walking in the area when the suspect approached them from Vargas Road and started running toward them. The suspect allegedly used his right hand to strike them as they tried to move out of the way. The suspect then allegedly started running southbound on Montopolis Drive prior to police arriving. The victim suffered from two small bumps on her forehead, police said. According to medical records, the 3-year-old victim suffered from injuries on the left and right side of her skull.
The grandmother gave a description of the suspect to police. The grandmother also stated that she has seen the male multiple times around 1200 Montopolis Drive.
On Dec. 9, the grandmother notified police that she saw the suspect standing at the front of the Shell gas station. When officers arrived at the gas station, they found a man matching the description the grandmother gave, and identified him as McKnight. The grandmother was able to confirm that the man the officers were speaking to was the same man that allegedly hit her granddaughter.
On Dec. 12, police found McKnight on Montopolis Drive. McKnight denied being in the area around the time the assault occurred and denied assaulting the 3-year-old victim. However, the grandmother was able to correctly identify the suspect as McKnight based on photos she was shown, police said.
McKnight has been charged with two counts of injury to a child with bonds totaling $85,000. McKnight is in police custody as of Thursday afternoon.
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