Assault victim charged by police for damaging suspect's vehicle

A warrant for arrest was issued Tuesday against the woman who was attacked in Deep Ellum two weeks ago.

Dallas police charged L'Daijohnique Lee, 24, with felony criminal mischief because of the damage she did to the main suspect's vehicle after she was attacked. The charge is a state jail felony because police have determined the damage was valued between $2,500 and $30,000.

Lee's attorney was outraged at the charge against his client.

"A black woman alone in a dark parking lot is stalked, harassed and assaulted by a white male. He brandishes a gun, knocks away her phone when she tries to call for help - then beats her mercilessly with blows to the head. DPD just found a way to charge HER with a felony," said attorney Lee Merritt on Twitter.

Austin Shuffield, the attacker seen on video, has been charged with various misdemeanor charges -- like the unlawful carrying of a weapon and public intoxication. Dallas police referred his case to a grand jury and recommended they charge him with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Dallas police said Tuesday they were merely following the letter of the law with the charge against Lee. Police said a charge had been pending since the day of the incident. Lee she admitted to breaking out the back window of Shuffield's pickup after video shows him violently punching her in the face.

Police said they were waiting to get a damage estimate to determine if her charge would be a felony or a misdemeanor. They said Shuffield came back with an estimate that was more than $2,500, making it a state jail felony charge of criminal mischief.

"Based on the damage to the windows, testimony and Ms. Lee's own admission, officers filed a criminal mischief report at the time of the incident," explained Dallas Deputy Chief Thomas Castro.

Merritt said Lee would not be turning herself in Tuesday.

"We understand there are some people that are upset. It's not the intention of the Dallas Police Department to pick one side or the other," said DPD Deputy Chief Thomas Castro. "We simply had information that was provided to us on a criminal offense. We thoroughly investigated that offense and we took the action that was taken today."

The Dallas County District Attorney's Office said it found out about the warrant from media reports on Tuesday afternoon.

"The District Attorney had no prior knowledge that an arrest warrant was issued. When and if charges reach the District Attorney's Office, we will take appropriate action," the DA's office said in a statement.

Dallas police said they are prepared for any potential protests over the charge and asked that people exercise their First Amendment rights peacefully.