St. Johns County man charged in neighbor's tractor attack

Man accused of chasing neighbor down driveway, yelling 'Run, fat a**!'

ST. JOHNS, Fla. – A property dispute in rural St. Johns County took an unusual turn Tuesday when an elderly man chased down his neighbor on a tractor while shouting obscenities, authorities said.

The episode was filmed by the neighbor’s wife, who called 911 and provided cellphone video to authorities that ultimately led to the man’s arrest, according to a copy of his arrest report. 

Howell Lamar Morris, 72, was booked into the St. Johns County jail on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, a third-degree felony.

Deputies answering a disturbance call on Richard Glen Drive about 8 p.m. Tuesday were greeted by Scott Lynch, who said the incident stemmed from an argument over an unspecified property dispute.

Lynch, 53, told deputies the dispute escalated when Morris climbed into his tractor, drove onto Lynch’s property and chased him down his driveway, yelling, “Run, fat [expletive]!”

Lynch said he ran for his life, fearing Morris would have run him over if he stopped. The chase came to an end when Lynch took refuge inside his garage and shut the door.

Video recorded by Lynch’s wife showed Morris “steer the tractor towards the victim as he was running down his driveway,” the report said. After reviewing the clip, the deputy took Morris into custody. 

St. Johns County jail logs indicate the 72-year-old was released Wednesday after posting $2,500 bond. Online court records show Howell, a veteran, was ordered to have no contact with Lynch.

About the Authors:

Award-winning broadcast and multimedia journalist with 20 years experience.