Charges dropped against woman accused of assaulting Kellyanne Conway at Mexican restaurant

Police said a woman approached Conway from behind, grabbed her shoulders and yelled, "Shame on you"

By Shira Tarlo

Published April 15, 2019 3:42PM (EDT)

Kellyanne Conway (AP/Evan Vucci)
Kellyanne Conway (AP/Evan Vucci)

Prosecutors in Maryland dropped a criminal case against a woman accused of assaulting White House counselor Kellyanne Conway for her political views at a Washington-area Mexican restaurant.

In a Monday court appearance, Montgomery County Assistant State's Attorney Kathy Knight said her office would not move forward on one count of second-degree assault and an additional count of disorderly conduct filed last November by Montgomery County Police.

At that time, police said Mary Elizabeth Inabinett, 63, of Chevy Chase, had been at Uncle Julio's in Bethesda, Maryland, when she allegedly approached Conway from behind, grabbed her shoulders and yelled, "Shame on you" among other statements believed to have been about Conway's political views.

Conway, who told police she was attending a birthday party with her teenage daughter at the time, was not injured. Inabinett was removed from the restaurant.

Montgomery County prosecutor Kathy Knight said Inabinett sent Conway a letter apologizing for the incident, the Associated Press reported.

"She has apologized for choosing this time and place to vent her political views," Knight said. "That was inappropriate."

Ramon Korionoff, a spokesperson for the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office, reportedly called the dismissal "the best resolution for all parties concerned."

"The defendant in this matter did apologize to the victim in this matter and did so in a recent letter," Korionoff said.

Conway, a top adviser to President Donald Trump, called the woman "out of control."

"Somebody was grabbing me from behind, grabbed my arms and was shaking me," she said, describing Inabinett's conduct. "She ought to pay for that. She ought to pay for that, because she has no right to touch anybody. She put her hands on me. I said, 'Get your hands off me.' She put her hands on me and was shaking me."

Conway said she called 911 to report the alleged assault, and after an investigation, Inabinett was charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct. Inabinett's attorney, William McDaniel, said in a statement in February that his client denied the charges and planned to plead not guilty at her trial.

"Ms. Inabinett saw Kellyanne Conway, a public figure, in a public place, and exercised her First Amendment right to express her personal opinions," McDaniel said. "She did not assault Ms. Conway. The facts at trial will show this to be true, and show Ms. Conway’s account to be false."

During a Sunday on NBC News' "Meet the Press," Conway questioned why undocumented migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. cannot wait in Mexico until their claims have finished processing.

"At least give us some latitude on the remain in Mexico policy. So many of the liberals want the illegal migrants to remain in America. Why not remain in Mexico while your claims of asylum are being processed?" Conway asked host Chuck Todd.

Shira Tarlo

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