A woman allegedly threw hot grits at her boyfriend while he was holding their 10-month-old boy Sunday morning in a vehicle on Cusseta Road, according to testimony in Columbus Recorder’s Court.
Monique Altouise Bennett, 33, of Columbus pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to simple assault and reckless conduct charges stemming from the incident, which police said happened around 11:19 a.m. Sunday at an apartment in the 2400 block of Cusseta Road.
In court, Bennett admitted to throwing the hot grits out of anger.
“He used my son as a shield, because he knew I wasn’t going to hit him with the grits if he was holding my son,” she testified. “So out of anger when he got in the car and closed the car door, I threw the grits at the car.”
Columbus Police Officer Thomas Tomblin and Cpl. Whitney Whaley said they were called to the residence around 11:30 a.m. Monday after someone reported seeing a person with a weapon.
On the scene, the victim told authorities that he and Bennett were arguing about cheating and Bennett threatened him with a knife. With his 10-month-old child in his hands, he ran outside of the residence and into a vehicle, Tomblin testified.
He used my son as a shield, because he knew I wasn’t going to hit him with the grits if he was holding my son. So out of anger when he got in the car and closed the car door, I threw the grits at the car.
Monique Altouise Bennett
Police said he was holding the child in his lap with the car door open when she followed him outside with a pot of hot grits and thew some of the food at him. She dumped the rest of the grits onto the vehicle, struck it with the pot multiple times and then threw the pot at the car door, authorities said.
“It all happened within a very short period of time,” testified Whaley, who said the victim recorded the incident on his cellphone.
At the time of the incident, Bennett was ordered to avoid any “violent contact” with the victim as a condition of her bond, which was set in an unrelated case that was made in another county.
In court, Bennett fought back tears as she admitted to throwing the grits but denied that the door was open at the time.
“When I threw the grits, I threw the grits at a closed car door,” she said. “It doesn’t make sense. If the door was open, the grits would have hit my son.”
Bennett was ordered held in the Muscogee County Jail under bonds totaling $2,000. Her case was bound over to Superior Court.