Customers at Gator Joe’s react to Marion County man’s arrest

Officials set Fontenot’s bond 19-thousand dollars.
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 7:02 PM EDT
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OCKLAWAHA, Fla. (WCJB) - Customers at a popular restaurant on Lake Weir are stunned to learn a man was arrested there Thursday night.

Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested 42-year-old Richard Fontenot at Gator Joe’s Beach Bar & Grill. He is charged with exposing himself, along with three counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition.

According to the arrest report, a restaurant manager called 911 after several customers told her what Fontenot was doing. A witness told deputies she saw Fontenot lower his pants at the beach area of the restaurant. Witnesses said children were present, but none saw what was happening.

Customers outside Gator Joe’s were shocked to hear about Fontenot’s arrest.

“Hopefully they came quick and got him as fast as humanely possible,” said customer Chris Mendoza. “That’s outrageous.”

Officials set Fontenot’s bond 19-thousand dollars.

“Seems cheap doesn’t it,” said Gator Joe’s customer Martin Herman. ”He’s still in jail though which is a good thing.”

Mendoza agreed.

“That’s almost nothing. It should be more, especially if he’s around kids,” said Mendoza.

This is not the first time Fontenot was arrested for public exposure.

Jail records show Fontenot spent two days in the Marion County Jail back in 2020 when he was arrested on two charges of exposing his sexual organs.

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