Suspect's ex-wife talks about case following viral video of wheelchair theft attempt

It took police just a day to find the man accused of brutally attacking a woman on the light rail and attempting to take her wheelchair, but now his ex-wife is speaking out after receiving threats about a man who she says she's no longer with.

"It made me disgusted that he would do something like that because he has a child with a special need," said Shannon Shurbutt.

The ex-wife of 26-year-old Austin Shurbutt says she is appalled that this even happened.

"He and I share a child in common and our child has autism," she said. "What if that happened to my daughter. I would be scared for my child. I can only imagine what this young woman was feeling like being thrown out of her chair."

Austin Shurbutt

After the video was posted by Phoenix Police of Shurbutt throwing the woman off her wheelchair in attempts to steal it went viral, Shannon says she began receiving threats from people online. She says in no shape or form would she ever condone this behavior. In fact, she hasn't had contact with him for more than a year.

Giving FOX 10 an inside look at her ex-husband's troubling past, she said he went into the "Marine Corps. when he was 18, straight out of high school and he got kicked out because he and another Marine stole a credit card. He went to jail and did his time for that. In jail, he had aggressive movements, so he was moved a lot."

Shannon has a message for the 28-year-old victim:

"I just want to say that I'm sorry for how he reacted and his actions.. I just hope she doesn't have too much trauma from this incident."

Shurbutt is accused of robbery, attempted kidnapping and assault.


Phoenix Police: Man arrested for trying to take woman's wheelchair