That Time a Romney Mega-donor Drove a Guy's Car Into a Fort Worth Pond

After more than a decade as an investment banker for outfits like Merrill Lynch, John Kleinheinz struck out on his own in 1996, establishing what would become Kleinheinz Capital Partners in Fort Worth. Over the next decade-and-a-half, the hedge fund exploded, growing from basically nothing to $1.8 billion and providing Kleinheinz with a comfortable income.

Kleinheinz was comfortable enough, at least, to donate $1 million to Restore Our Future, the pro-Romney SuperPAC. But Kleinheinz isn't so kind to everyone, namely photographers who may or may not have stepped onto his property.

Politico dredged up a Star-Telegram telling of an Aug. 30, 2005 incident near Kleinheinz's home.

According to the Star-Telegram, David "Smiley" Irvin was photographing a couple and their two young sons near the 1000 block of Hidden Road. Irvin insisted he was on property belonging to the River Crest Country Club, but Kleinheinz, who has a 40 acre spread next door, insisted otherwise and threatened to call the police.

Irvin told him to go ahead and kept shooting. While he was doing so, Kleinheinz jumped into Irvin's rented Kia Sedona, turned on the ignition, and put it into gear. He jumped from the minivan as the minivan gained speed, then returned to his BMW where his two children were waiting and drove away. The Kia crashed into the bond, only it's luggage rack visible above the water. Police divers and a tow truck pulled it out the next day.

Police estimated that the Kia suffered $16,000 worth of damage on top of the $25,000 worth of camera equipment in the back. Kleinheinz later surrendered to Fort Worth police, though Irvin declined to press charges after the parties reached an agreement. In an email to the Star-Telegram, Kleinheinz called the incident "regrettable."

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.