Posted: 10/30/2004 5:53:41 AM EDT
Also, handcuffs make the hands of one hurt, will be hard to play church organ.
Jail unites two Bush protesters
Saturday, October 30, 2004
THE SAGINAW NEWS
A church organist clad in an orange jump suit sobbed for two hours before striking up a chat with the other George W. Bush protester in the Saginaw County drunk tank.
Both women, handcuffed during the president's visit to Saginaw on Thursday, pondered their arrest at TheDow Event Center and their fate in the justice system.
"I'm not used to this: I've never been arrested," Veronica S. McIntosh recalled of her Thursday visit with Mary Ellen Garrett behind bars.
"It's frightening being in jail," McIntosh, 51, of Midland told The Saginaw News. "I cried for two hours. It was like being in a foreign land. They put me right in a jump suit and flip-flops."
Saginaw police claim McIntosh, who plays for congregations and choirs in Saginaw, Merrill and Bridgeport Township, resisted arrest and incited a riot --a 10-year felony.
Saginaw County Prosecutor Michael D. Thomas said he reviewed police reports and asked Saginaw police detectives to further investigate the incident.
"We haven't made any decision about charges," Thomas said.
Police arrested Garrett, 29, of Saginaw, who told The Saginaw News she refused to move when ordered because police failed to give her a good reason.
The women spent about 90 minutes in jail, Garrett said.
Although authorities are investigating how a crowd reacted to McIntosh's arrest outside TheDow Event Center, it's possible nothing will come of it, Street said.
The charge --inciting a riot --is uncommon, he said.
"It does require a very high level of proof," Street said. "You have to specifically have tired to do something to stir up other people. It's kind of like a conspiracy.
"If there has been a riot it is much easier to prove."
McIntosh said she became irritated when police herded about 50 protesters back and forth across Washington without explanation and allowed taunting Bush supporters free range.
She said police had warned her repeatedly they would arrest her before finally telling her, "You're under arrest."
Still, she said she was "in shock" and laid on the ground. As police placed her hands behind her back and handcuffed her, she and a friend, 17-year-old Bridget Clarke of Midland, told officers she a bad back and was in pain.
Onlookers made up of protesters and at least one Bush supporter joined the vocal urgings for gentleness, McIntosh said.
"I was thinking, what the heck?" she recalled. "I thought, 'Jeez, I've got to get Bridget home."'
Earlier, police had arrested Garrett, 29, of Saginaw, who told The Saginaw News she refused to move when ordered because police failed to give her a good reason.
She and McIntosh --police claim both refused to leave an unmarked restricted area -- spent about 90 minutes in the drunk tank, Garrett said.
Garrett, who wrapped herself in an American flag costume for the morning protest, said McIntosh was troubled.
"She was really shaken up and her wrists were all bruised-looking because they dragged her by her handcuffs," Garrett said.
McIntosh, who got out of jail about 5:30 p.m. that evening without posting bail, said Friday she was "sad and angry."
"I really thought in the United States you were allowed to assemble and dissent," she said.
Playing the church organ isn't easy with bruised hands, but McIntosh said she would fulfill her liturgical duties Sunday.
"I'm mostly in disbelief," she said. v
© 2004 Saginaw News. Used with permission