High on ‘shrooms,’ man pistol-whips transgender woman who wrestled gun away, police say

National News

Jeffrey Pace. Austin police photo via KXAN

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man is accused of hitting a transgender woman multiple times with a gun before she wrestled it away from him, hid it and called police, according to the Austin Police Department.

The victim said Jeffrey Pace, who she’d known for about four months, had called her that night and asked her if she wanted to come over. He told her he was taking “shrooms,” or psilocybin mushrooms, according to the affidavit, and although he had hired her as an escort in the past, she told police she just expected to go to his home in the 2900 block of East Third Street to hang out.

She told police as she arrived, two escorts were leaving. She also told police Pace had pulled out a gun from his dresser “to ensure that she didn’t try to steal anything,” and then told her he needed a ride to the bank to pay for one of the escorts. She took him and they returned to the home.

The victim said Pace had been “disrespectful to her and was acting strange” ever since she arrived at his home.

“[The victim] was worried that Pace may be so high that he would do something that would get her or him injured,” according to the affidavit. She told him she was leaving and went to gather her things.

That’s when she told police he accused her of stealing his gun, which was on the dresser, and grabbed it and pointed it at her. He then started hitting her with the barrel of the gun.

The victim told police she grabbed the gun and after a struggle that put her in a headlock, she was able to get it. She said Pace continued to hit her and bit her. According to the affdavit, she was able to run away.

Around 1:53 a.m. Saturday, the victim called police about the struggle and told them she was hiding in a neighbor’s backyard. She flagged them down when they arrived and showed them where she had hidden the 9mm Taurus Pistol 6. Around the same time, police received a call from Jeffrey Pace, claiming the victim had stolen his car and his gun. Police found his car in his driveway.

Police questioned Pace, who they said appeared to still be under the effects of the psilocybin mushrooms and who changed his story multiple times. One version of the events he told police was that he had pulled out a gun so the victim wouldn’t “try anything,” but then she grabbed it and his keys and ran from the house, according to the affidavit. Pace said they struggled outside and each “pistol-whipped” the other before the victim ran away. Another version said the escorts had assaulted him and stolen his gun, the affidavit said.

Pace is not listed as being in custody as of Monday. He faces an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon charge.

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