Woman charged with harassing man while he was trying to vote
On Election Day, a man says he was harassed as he was waiting to vote.
53-year-old Wendy Jane Bies is now charged with obstructing a peace officer and disorderly conduct.
The citation written by a sheriff's deputy from the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office says Bies is a transient who was intoxicated at the time, but her words still sting for Brian Mango.
The 22-year-old MSU student says he was in the Gallatin County Courthouse's long line Tuesday afternoon waiting to get his absentee ballot, when Bies first approached him.
Mango says Bies at first told him he 'had a cute butt'.
"She was being very obnoxious, for a lack of a better word," said Mango, who says she then started saying racial slurs to him and kept swatting at him with her scarf which smelled like alcohol.
"The absolute irony to me was the fact that she was saying that 'my people' and ‘people like me are only here to get free stuff’, yet she was taking as much of the free stuff there that she could," said Mango of the pizza and snacks the courthouse had for the voters.
A bystander caught the incident on video, and in it you can hear Mango tell Bies "You know why my mom's here? because Americans bombed her country. You know why my dad's here? Because they brought his ancestors over here in chains."
Bies then replies "Yeah because guess what? they wanted to come to America because they wanted to get out of that a**hole country."
"A lot of people were commenting on how well I kept my cool but there were so many instances where I just wanted to freak out and rage -- but I don't have the luxury of doing that," said Mango.
Mango is half African-American and his mother came to the U.S. from Laos, but he was born in Idaho and says he only knows the mountains.
He says what was most uncomfortable was how Bies made not only himself uncomfortable but everyone around them uncomfortable.
Bies was escorted out of the courthouse by a sheriff's deputy who was patrolling the courthouse in support of Election Day and taken to the Gallatin Detention Center.
She was held on a $335 bond.