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Friday, June 2, 2023

Ocklawaha man arrested for exposing, pleasuring himself near children at Gator Joe’s restaurant

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 42-year-old Ocklawaha man after he was accused of exposing himself and masturbating near several children at a local restaurant.

On Thursday, MCSO was notified of an indecency and lewdness incident that had occurred at Gator Joe’s Beach Bar & Grill located at 12431 SE 135th Avenue in Ocklawaha. A manager at the restaurant reported that patrons had observed an adult man “playing with himself” on the beach area of the property, according to the MCSO report.

Upon arrival, deputies were directed to the man, identified in the report as Richard Lee-Joseph Fontenot. Deputies made contact with Fontenot in the restaurant’s outdoor beach area, and he was escorted away from the incident location in handcuffs.

Richard Lee-Joseph Fontenon
Richard Lee-Joseph Fontenot

The MCSO report stated that a witness on the restaurant’s patio told deputies that Fontenot was observed lowering his pants and exposing his genitals. According to the witness, Fontenot then began to pleasure himself on the beach area while looking at three children who were nearby.

An MCSO deputy noted in the report that the three children (ages 10 to 13) did not witness the alleged incident involving Fontenot.

The restaurant manager showed one of the deputies video footage of the incident. The MCSO report stated that Fontenot was observed with his hands in front of his body, and he was making “various motions” near his groin area.

After reviewing the video footage, the deputy made contact with Fontenot. He refused to identify himself and he refused to allow the reading of his Miranda rights, according to the MCSO report.

A black laptop bag was found in Fontenot’s possession and it contained approximately four grams of a green leafy substance that field-tested positive for marijuana. A clear glass pipe with burnt residue was also found in the bag, and the residue field-tested positive for marijuana.

Fontenot was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held on $19,000 bond. He is facing felony charges for lewd and lascivious behavior by an adult offender on a victim under 16 years of age (three counts), along with misdemeanor charges for indecent exposure of sexual organs, possession of marijuana (20 grams or less), possession of drug paraphernalia, and resisting an officer without violence.

A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.