Diners at a West Des Moines restaurant ran into two things that don’t mix – alcohol and politics – not long before President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney meet in their second presidential debate.
After an encounter that neither candidate likely approved, Charlene Idelle Hunziker, 47, of Council Bluffs was charged with public intoxication and harassment of public officials.
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Authorities were called to P.F. Chang’s China Bistro at Jordan Creek Town Center about 3:45 p.m. Friday after restaurant employees tried to eject Hunziker for upsetting other diners with her political rant, according to a report on file at the West Des Moines Police Department.
Officer Chris Morgan said in his report that when he arrived, Hunziker reportedly yelled at him and said he didn’t need to be there because “she was a Republican.”
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Hunziker reportedly refused a sobriety test and admitted to having consumed alcohol, but insisted she was not drunk, according to the report.
A witness reportedly told Morgan that Hunziker was drunk and had been bothering other customers with her opinions about the previous night’s presidential debate, her support for Romney and her belief that “Obama had ruined this country and ... Muslims were causing America all these problems.”
The woman’s daughter proclaimed her mother “an embarrassment” and walked out of the restaurant, the witness said. When restaurant employees asked Hunziker to leave, she “got in the employees’ face and told them that she had rights and was refusing to leave.”
After the woman told Morgan she was a Republican, he told her that he couldn’t just leave – a statement she reportedly argued, according to the officer’s narrative of the encounter. The report said Hunziker kicked, screamed and struggled as Morgan and a backup officer tried to handcuff her and place her in the squad car.
En route to the police station, where she was booked before being transported to the Polk County Jail, Hunziker reportedly said that “she was doing this because she was a good mother.”