A woman accused of yelling racist remarks at voters at the Gallatin County Courthouse made her first court appearance on Wednesday.
In a hearing in Gallatin County Justice Court, Wendy Bies, 53, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor counts of obstructing a police officer and disorderly conduct, after she was escorted outside of the courthouse Tuesday afternoon. She remained jailed on $500 bail Wednesday afternoon.
Brian Mango, 22, was waiting to vote when he said a woman started weaving in and out of line, appearing drunk and acting “unruly.” Bies kept touching him and told him he had a “cute butt,” Mango told the Chronicle.
“Go back where you came from,” Mango said Bies, who is white, told him, saying his “people” came to the U.S. “on purpose.” Mango, who is black, responded by saying that his family came to the U.S. as slaves and had no choice in the matter. He also told her his mother, from Laos, was a refugee.
She said that all “his people” wanted was free stuff, Mango said. He also said she hit him with her scarf at one point.
Police said in an affidavit that Bies’ eyes appeared red and glassy, and she smelled like alcohol.
Gallatin County Deputy Attorney Ashley Carroll said Bies has two DUI convictions and recommended she get alcohol testing. Defense attorney Mary Kramer agreed.