BRYAN, Texas (FOX 44) – A Bryan man accused of Assaulting a Peace Officer has been sentenced to 45 years in prison.
45-year-old Lawrence Auston was sentenced Thursday by Judge David Hilburn of the 361st District Court. Auston was convicted by a Brazos County Jury on Wednesday.
According to the Brazos County District Attorney’s Office – in 2019, a Bryan Police officer saw Lawrence Auston failing to signal a turn in his truck. Auston was also showing signs of driving while intoxicated. When the officer approached Auston’s vehicle, he immediately smelled PCP coming from the truck.
When the officer started placing Auston under arrest for not having a driver’s license, he started resisting arrest and refused to cooperate with the officer. The officer repeatedly tried to calm Auston down.
The D.A.’s Office says Auston pulled away from the officer and got back into his truck in an attempt to flee. The officer refused to let Auston drive away, and also entered the vehicle. Auston wrapped his arm around the officer’s head and attempted to strangle him.
Over the next several minutes, Auston repeatedly struck, kicked and dragged the officer across the ground. The officer called for backup.
At the time of the assault, most of the Bryan PD officers on duty were involved in rescuing a woman from a submerged vehicle wreck, and were also involved in assisting the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office in the pursuit of a criminal suspect.
According to the D.A.’s Office – when the first backup officer arrived on scene, he saw Auston on top of the original officer and in the process of actively strangling him. Several officers were required to get Auston into handcuffs after he was pulled off of the original officer.
During punishment, prosecutors presented evidence that – after being released on bond for Assault of a Peace Officer – Auston was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated while high on PCP. In that case, an independent witness reported that Auston was intoxicated and was driving the wrong way down North Harvey Mitchell Parkway. When officers attempted to draw Auston’s blood pursuant to a search warrant, it took five officers to take him down.
The D.A.’s Office says that prosecutors also presented evidence that while on bond, Auston broke into a stranger’s home during the middle of the day. Auston fled when the woman in the home called 9-1-1. The woman reported that Auston appeared under the influence of some substance.
Officers saw Auston walking along Texas Avenue. He was publicly intoxicated on PCP and created a disturbance in the parking lot of a local restaurant. It required a total of seven officers to take Auston into custody. During the struggle, Auston attempted to grab one officer’s firearm.
According to the D.A.’s Office, Auston has a lengthy criminal history and two prior prison sentences for Burglary of a Habitation and Tampering with Evidence. This makes him a habitual felon.