Arrest warrants filed in viral Paris assault video

Published: Dec. 3, 2018 at 11:12 PM CST
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"Any kind of violence is somewhat hard to watch," said Paris Police Chief Bob Hundley. "Then when you see somebody like this who looked pretty defenseless in the entire attack, it just kind of adds to, you know, this is just horrible, horrible situation and we need to get something done about it as quickly as we can."

Employees at the Bath and Body works store in Paris called 911 at around ten one November morning after a woman now identified as 24 year old Justice Brown of Balch Springs walked into the store and started beating on an employee while police say 21-year-old Alexius Runnels recorded the whole thing on her phone.

"This is kind of out of the ordinary, I think that's kind of why it went viral," said Kaylnn McKitrick, a frequent shopper at the strip mall.

Runnels posted the video on her Facebook page soon after and deleted it hours later.

But not before others saved it and posted it to their pages.

Police say hundreds of thousands of people saw some version of the fight on social media.

"You know, if you go back and think about somebody that's driving a get away car, or something like that in a crime, you're involved in it," said Hundley.

Though police say Brown is the one hitting the victim and destroying hundreds of dollars worth of candles in the store, she and Runnels both face a Class A misdemeanor assault charge and one count each of misdemeanor criminal mischief.

McKitrick shops in the strip mall where the attack happened and says Paris has been buzzing ever since the video hit the web.

"It's not really how it always happens but when one thing happens like that it's very dramatic and it's like, everybody talks about it," said McKitrick.

That buzz led investigators to the suspects.

Police say the victim was not seriously hurt.

"The victim was doing what everybody, or a lot of people, do in this town everyday; went to work and was working at her job," said Hundley.

"For someone's work and everything I just think that was out of hand and really just childish, especially for their age," said McKitrick.

Paris police say both suspects are believed to be in the DFW area and have not responded to attempts by officers to turn themselves in.

Law enforcement agencies where they may be living have been alerted to the charges.