Safety Pin in Protester's Pants Pricks Officer at Arizona State Capitol

The protester arrested at the Arizona State Capitol on Monday had a safety pin in his pants that pricked an officer who searched him, and now police want him charged with aggravated assault.

Jonathan McRae, 23, of Paulden, "was observed yelling and causing a disturbance in the gallery of the House of Representatives building," a booking sheet states.

McRae was one of the protesters who showed up at the  Capitol yesterday to voice anger over last week's fouled-up Presidential Preference Election in Maricopa County. Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan and Maricopa County Recorder Helen Purcell drew jeers from a raucous audience at a special hearing of the House Elections Committee as they apologized for the problems and explained how the decision to reduce the number of polling places caused some voters to spend hours waiting in line last Tuesday.

A House security guard told McRae to leave the building at least four times, but McRae — wearing a Guy Fawkes mask — told the guard he wasn't going to leave. When a state Department of Public Safety officer tried to throw him out, McRae grabbed a chair and wouldn't let go, records state.

People in the crowded gallery began yelling at the officers trying to deal with McRae, as can be seen in one of many videos taken of the incident. The chaotic scene and remarks from the gallery make for an interesting video — posted below is one shot by Stacey Champion and posted to YouTube. Among the shouts:

"Go arrest Helen Purcell!"

"You are sending the wrong message, officer!"

"Stay away from him!"

"This is wrong!" 

At one point, the crowd begins shouting at the officers, "Shame! Shame! Shame!" in one loud voice.

The officer finally pried him off the chair and took him to a Capitol police facility to be searched before he was to be to County Jail for booking. Before the search, McRae was asked if he had anything on him. He said no.

"During the search, Trooper Ayala was pricked by a safety pin that was on the left hip of the subject," records state. "The safety pin was attached to the subject's shorts and was pointing out so that the sharp needle end was facing outward. The end safety cap of the safety pin had been removed."

McRae faces possible charges of passively resisting arrest, criminal damage, and aggravated assault.

The officer was treated at a nearby hospital.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.