AUSTIN -- A man who was repeatedly punched and kicked in a brawl in downtown Austin is speaking out about the incident, saying the backlash online is more disturbing than the fight itself.
He does not want to identify himself any more than the video already does. He says he is biracial and is disturbed so many people think the fight was racially motivated.
The fight happened on Jan. 26, on Sixth Street just east of Interstate 35.
"It was totally not a black on white crime. That’s not at all what it was," said the man. "I’m really upset about the video and how people in our own city automatically start tearing apart a different culture and a different ethnicity."
He says he was out celebrating a friend's birthday when his group exchanged words with another, then the confrontation turned violent.
"My eye was a little hurt because they had kicked me in the face, and even now my chest still hurts, and my hand is still swollen," said the man.
Partly in response to the fight video, the Austin Police Department is launching a new initiative downtown called "Operation Safe Passage." Additional officers will patrol streets near I-35 where a high number of people walk to their vehicles after the bars close.
"When we have that many folks in one area that possibly have money and wallets, they pose themselves as potential prey to the criminal element. They are like a school of tuna, and where there’s tuna there’s going to be sharks," said Assistant APD Chief Steve Deaton.
APD has not filed charges in the downtown fight. Officers want the person who filmed the fight to come forward.