SANTA FE, TX — A Texas man has been arrested after he allegedly used his ride-on lawnmower as a weapon on his gravel driveway to launch rocks at his female roommate, her nine-year-old daughter, and her ex-husband. Afterward, he said he “would do so again.”
Johnny Manning, 72, faces charges of injury to a child with intent and criminal mischief following a reported dispute with Angela Fontenot, with whom he still technically shares a home.
According to arrest papers, Manning said he had kicked Angela out of the residence weeks earlier. She denies it. They argued after her ex, Chris Fontenot, pulled his SUV into the driveway to drop off Angela and the couple’s child.
At that point, Manning reportedly yelled at the Fontenots:
“I said, ‘Put them back in the car and take them back where you got them, your house. I motioned to him [Chris] like that, I told him, ‘Get out of my driveway.’”
Manning told police that Chris then challenged him to fisticuffs in the street, to which he responded:
“I can’t get out and do this no more. I’m 72 years old!”
Finally, Manning said he looked toward his riding mower and reportedly conceded:
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“Then I done something I wasn’t supposed to do.”
What Manning allegedly did was hop on his lawn mower and plow it over a stretch of gravel to intentionally hurl rocks at the Fontenots inside the SUV. Apparently, it worked. Chris Fontenot said:
“He just came full-blown speed right at us with a John Deere lawnmower with the blades to the ground. One rock came through my window, landed in my chest.”
Angela Fontenot added:
“I just saw nothing but a big old poof of air and rocks, and it splattered me and hit me in my face.”
The projectiles also reportedly struck the nine-year-old girl in the face, leading to Manning’s most serious charge.
Upon being arrested, Manning reportedly expressed regret for pelting the little girl with the rock storm, but he made clear that he “would do so again if he had the chance.”
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Main photo: Johnny Manning [Galveston County Sheriff’s Office]