Pflugerville police: Landlord locks tenants out of house, punches, threatens them with shotgun

A landlord in Pflugerville has been arrested after police say he assaulted his tenants with his fists and threatened them with a shotgun.

Tyrell Louis Higgins, 31, has been charged with second-degree felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon family violence.

According to an arrest affidavit, Pflugerville officers responded to a home on Aspen Grove Drive on Feb. 8 just after 2:30 p.m. The caller said his landlord had assaulted his girlfriend and was threatening to shoot them. Officers were advised the suspect was detained when they arrived.

Officers found a man and woman standing down the street from the home, both with blood on their faces and visibly upset. They told officers they had moved into the home around two weeks before and that they have had consistent problems with their roommate and sub-leaser, says the affidavit.

The victims told officers that around 2:16 p.m., they received a text saying their landlord, identified as Higgins in the affidavit, was terminating their lease. They said their lease agreement states they have 30 days once the lease is terminated. They went to the home a few minutes later to retrieve their belongings and found that Higgins had used the deadbolt to lock them out of the house. 

The man told officers when Higgins came to the front door, they argued and Higgins threw his phone into the street. The woman tried to walk inside the home and said Higgins punched her in the face, causing her to trip and fall face-first into a brick pillar on the porch. Officers noted a large cut and swelling to her right cheek, says the affidavit.

The man said when he stepped inside to punch Higgins, Higgins pulled out a shotgun and pointed it at him. The man told officers Higgins then hit him in the face, but he wasn't sure if it was with his fist or the gun. Officers noted swelling and a small cut to the man's forehead in the affidavit.

The man told officers Higgins made threatening comments and threatened to kill him.

Officers on scene said Higgins told them he was defending his property because he could terminate their lease when he wanted to. Officers also spoke with a witness next door who said she saw a long black gun during the altercation and had taken some video of it. 

Officers found a 12-gauge shotgun in the closet near the front door with one round in the chamber, two loaded and the safety off.