During her keynote speech in Las Vegas to the attendees of a conference organized by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Hillary Clinton found herself the target of a flying shoe thrown by 36-year-old Alison Michelle Ernst.
Ernst, who apparently was not part of the conference, was able to bypass security and enter the large conference room where over 1,000 people were listening to Clinton. The woman is accused of passing security un-checked and then walking “quickly” to the front of the room where a rope, about six rows from the podium, prevented Ernst from proceeding further.
Police say it is from this vantage point that Ernst opened her handbag and took out a sports shoe and quickly hurled it at the former First Lady and New York Senator. Luckily for Clinton she was able to duck in time, and the shoe landed behind her.
She was able to recover quickly from the attack, cracking a few jokes about the incident before continuing with her speech. Clinton was warmly acknowledged with applause from the audience.
Ernst was removed by security guards with her hands raised and brought to a sofa in the hallway of the Mandalay Bay hotel casino, where the incident occurred. She was wearing a blond wig, blue dress and sandals. She explained to one AP reporter that she not only threw the shoe, but also dropped papers, but she did not explain why she attacked Clinton. Guards shooed away reporters and photographers.
She was then taken to the Clark County jail, where she was arrested, and later released after being given a misdemeanor disorderly conduct summons.
“Ms. Ernst appeared to be in an agitated state but aware of what she had just done,” the police arrest report said.
Ernst, who is from Phoenix, could face as much as one year in jail if she is convicted of violating a county ordinance when she bypassed the security inspection.