Texas Judge Arrests ‘Influencer’ For ‘Theft’ Of Honey Buns

Texas Judge Arrests ‘Influencer’ For ‘Theft’ Of Honey Buns

Thief wanted for another downtown Family Dollar robbery


  • Man arrested for ‘robbery’ at Dollar General store in northeast El Paso

An El Paso judge recently gave a lesson in Texas law to a social media “influencer” arrested in a dispute over a Monster Energy drink and a honey bun at a Dollar General store.

Judge Antonio Aun said Donte Manning-Lesueur, 25, whose eyes were wide open, appeared “shocked” when told he was being charged with robbery during a bail hearing teleconferenced June 30 from jail. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest.

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Under Texas law, theft is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Manning-Lesueur, a northeast El Paso native, was formerly in the U.S. Army and has worked as a social media “influencer” for the past five years, a public defender said. His work as an influencer was not described in further detail. El Paso County Jail records show no prior arrests.

Court records do not list a specific public defender for Manning-Lesueur.

An energy drink, honey buns and a so-called punch

The criminal charges stem from a June 28 argument at the Dollar General store in the Sunrise Village shopping center at 8500 Dyer St. in northeast El Paso, Assistant District Attorney Raoaa King said during the hearing.

In summarizing the case, King explained that the store’s policy requires customers to leave their backpacks at the door. Other stores have similar backpack policies to discourage shoplifting.

Manning-Lesueur had a backpack on, ignored the clerk and continued walking into the store to get an energy drink. The clerk told Manning-Lesueur to leave and told him he had the right to refuse service, King said.

“However, the defendant (Manning-Lesueur) then told the clerk, ‘If you don’t charge me, then I’ll take it,'” King said. “While holding the Monster drink, he grabbed a honey bun from the cash register and attempted to leave the store without paying for it.”

The salesman then stood in front of Manning-Lesueur so he couldn’t leave without paying for the items when Manning-Lesueur allegedly threw a punch, hitting the salesman in the left arm and causing him pain, King said. Manning-Lesueur, who lives nearby, allegedly resisted arrest when he was quickly taken into custody by El Paso police.

“That’s Texas law for you, my friend.”

Magistrate Judge Aun explained to Manning-Lesueur that the confrontation as described by the prosecution is considered a robbery in Texas.

“If you’re in the act of committing a robbery and you assault somebody, even if it’s a minor assault, that’s armed robbery, a second-degree felony. That’s Texas law for you, my friend, that’s what it is,” Aun said.

During the hearing, Manning-Lesueur raised his hand to speak and attempted to explain, but he only managed to say, “I didn’t…” before the judge interrupted him, reminding him of his right to remain silent and not say anything that could incriminate himself.

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Manning-Lesueur was jailed on $20,000 bail for the robbery and $500 bail for resisting arrest. Judge Aun ordered him released on a personal recognizance bond, which requires only a signature and a promise to appear in court. The judge also set bail conditions barring him from any Dollar General stores in El Paso County. The case is pending in court.

Man brandishes knife during robbery at Family Dollar in downtown El Paso

In a separate case, El Paso police detectives are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who threatened a store clerk with a knife during a robbery-turned-aggravated incident at a downtown Family Dollar store.

The man was confronted by an employee after placing various items in a backpack around 6:30 p.m. May 21 at the Family Dollar, 406 S. Stanton St., just south of East Paisano Drive, Crime Stoppers of El Paso said.

After being confronted, the shoplifter used a knife to threaten the store clerk, took more items and walked out, last seen heading south on Stanton, police said.

The man appeared to be in his early twenties and had a beard that reached down to his chin as well as tattoos on his arms, neck and chest. He wore an earring, sunglasses, a baseball cap, a white tank top, brown pants, dark shoes and a white shirt tied around his waist.

Anyone with information about the identity of the Family Dollar robber can call Crime Stoppers of El Paso anonymously at 915-566-8477 (TIPS) or leave a tip online at cselpaso.org. Tipsters may be eligible for a cash reward if the information leads to an arrest.