Allison Michelle Ernst, the 35-year-old woman who allegedly threw a shoe at Hillary Clinton, has been released on her own recognizance after being arrested for suspicion of disorderly conduct. The Chicago Tribune reports on Saturday that Ernst may face charges at her June 24 court date, but no charges have yet been filed. Clinton was delivering a speech at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas on Thursday when an unauthorized protester wearing a blonde wig threw an orange and black athletic shoe at the former secretary of state.
Clinton, 66, showed some fast defense as she dodged the flying shoe. Later, she even good-naturedly joked about the incident. In some cultures, throwing a shoe at a political figure is an accepted form of protest, although it is usually a lightweight sandal, not a heavy athletic shoe. At a speaking engagement earlier in the week, Clinton did admit that she was considering running for president in 2016.
The NYDailyNews reported on Saturday that this was not the first time that Ernst has been linked to bizarre behavior. Colorado officials have confirmed that the Phoenix resident was escorted from the courtroom during a 2012 hearing for James Holmes, the accused Colorado mass killer. The alleged shoe-tosser had arrived at the hearing with a shaven head and insisted that she had information important to the defense of Holmes. She also claimed that Holmes had managed to get inside her head and cause her to be obsessed with him.
Ernst was cornered by security at Clinton's speech when she was around 60 feet from the former first lady. It was at during this confrontation that she reached inside her bag and pulled out the shoe which she threw at Clinton. Ernst herself was wearing flip-flops which would have held considerably less potential for harm and injury than an athletic shoe.
One good thing that came out of this story is that we now know that Hillary Clinton is thinking about running for president in 2016.