Police: Man chokes woman in Austin airport line, blames 'bad vibe'

Published: Monday, December 21, 2015 @ 12:59 PM
Updated: Monday, December 21, 2015 @ 1:53 PM

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A woman waiting in the security line with two children at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Saturday was grabbed from behind by a man who put her in a choke hold, saying he was told to “take the Devil to hell,” according to the man’s arrest affidavit.

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The man, identified by authorities as Derek Tyler Chapman, 23, was arrested and faces a misdemeanor charge of assault with injury.

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Just before 6:20 a.m., Chapman was standing behind a woman at an airport screening checkpoint when he suddenly put his hand over the woman’s mouth and wrap his other arm around her throat, a Transportation Security Administration officer told police.

The woman, who told police she did not know Chapman, pushed him away and he released her, according to the affidavit. She told police she had pain her neck and wanted to press charges but that she needed to catch her flight.

According the affidavit, Chapman told the arresting police officer “he was the son of God and he was told to take the Devil to hell.” The officer also said that Chapman told him “he could feel a bad vibe from the woman in front of him.”

The officer said he determined that Chapman was a danger to the public and took him into custody.

Chapman’s bail was set at $20,000, and as of Monday he was still in Travis County Jail.