APD: Man punched complete stranger in the face on Rainey Street, chased him with pocketknife

A man was arrested Sunday for punching another man and then chasing him with an open pocketknife down Rainey Street.

Christopher Anthony Tiaga, 41, has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to an arrest affidavit, an Austin police officer saw a man, later identified as Tiaga, walk up to another man, a complete stranger, on the sidewalk in the 80 block of Rainey Street and punch him in the face. The officer then saw the victim put his hand to his cheek and question Tiaga about why he punched him. 


Get breaking news alerts in the FOX 7 Austin News app. It is FREE!

Download for iOS or Android


Tiaga then held an open black pocketknife in his hand and began to approach the victim while raising his hand to potentially stab him. The officer saw the victim run away while Tiaga chased him, says the affidavit.

The officer intervened and got Tiaga to drop the knife, placing him into custody. He didn't want to speak to officers but kept swearing and using slurs against Muslims, says the affidavit. He also said that since the pocketknife blade is only four inches, it couldn't be considered a deadly weapon.

The officer spoke with the victim who said Tiaga just walked up to him and punched him in the face, then pulled out a knife and began chasing him, says the affidavit. The victim told the officer he was running because he didn't want to get stabbed.

Tiaga was searched and a marijuana pipe with burnt marijuana residue was found inside his bag, which he said he uses to smoke marijuana, says the affidavit. Tiaga was transported to the Travis County Jail.