Hutto man charged with threatening child with knife at park

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Hutto man is behind bars after being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.  Several witnesses saw the man pull out a knife and hold it to a 10-year-old girl’s throat, Hutto police said.

Witnesses said the man was angry because the child was playing with his dog at Hutto Lake Park on April 10. Zachary Zapata, 20, told police he “didn’t want his dog to bite another person,” and that the little girl “kept messing with my dog,” the arrest affidavit said.

Zapata is known to walk his dog frequently at the park, according to several witnesses.

The girl did not sustain injuries, but she told police she feared for her life.

Hutto police officers went to Zapata’s home to question him after speaking to the girl and her mother, the document said. Zapata said he was at the park and had a dispute with the 10-year-old girl but made no mention of the knife.

The little girl says she is now too scared to go back to the park.

Zapata has been arrested before. A search of public records shows arrests in 2012 for carrying a weapon, and in 2013 for drug possession and carrying prohibited weapons, including knuckles and a switchblade.

Family members at Zapata’s home refused to speak to the media.

He is currently in the Williamson County Jail, held on $15,000 bond.

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