HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas woman accused of using a hammer to threaten a vacationing couple who she mistakenly referred to as Mexican during a profanity-laced tirade in southwest Houston has been arrested.
Police identified the woman as 60-year-old Constance Lynn Bono, KPRC-TV reported. Bono has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony. If convicted, she could serve up to 20 years in prison.
Arturo Cordovez and his wife, Dr. Lia Franco, said Bono mistaken;y thought they were Mexican citizens. Both are originally from Ecuador and currently live in New Orleans.
The couple was vacationing in Houston when they noticed a woman following them in a car on Sunday. Dr. Franco said they proceeded to stop their vehicle on the side of the road.
But Bono stopped too, Arturo Cordovez said. “After that, she started showing a hammer through the mirror. She was shaking her arm … and cursing at us, I think. I was thinking, what did I do?”
The couple called 911 and stopped at a gas station. Dr. Franco said the woman pulled beside them and started screaming.
“And we go ‘what do you want?’” Dr. Franco said. “And she screamed ‘You Mexicans, get out of my (expletive) country. Go back to your (expletive) country.’”
Bono then exited her car and appeared to threaten the couple with the hammer.
“I think she needs help, she needs treatment, but that doesn’t justify the fact she needs to follow the laws of her country,” Dr. Franco said.
Bono’s charge can be elevated to a first-degree felony, if prosecutors think this was a racially motivated attack. The case is expected to go to a grand jury.
Bono remained jailed Wednesday, and court records do not list an attorney who could speak on her behalf.