A pregnant woman assaulted the president of Mothers Against Illegal Aliens at an immigration protest near a Phoenix furniture store on Saturday, police said.
The tiff began as Kristina Yeo, 20, stood near Thomas Road and 38th Street and chanted “Mexico! Mexico!”
Michelle Dallacroce, 41, of Phoenix, stood across the street with a bullhorn in her hand. She said she began chanting back: “America! America!” from across Thomas near a Wal-Mart.
This riled Yeo, who crossed the road and began yelling “Mexico!” in her face, Dallacroce said. Police said Yeo yanked on Dallacroce’s microphone cord, then pushed her in the chest, despite warnings by police to back off.
Yeo was taken into custody, cited for misdemeanor assault and released, Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Andy Hill said.
“She was really out of control,” Dallacroce said.
Dallacroce said she is the national spokeswoman, president and founder of Mothers Against Illegal Aliens. The group’s focus is to “protect the city” from illegal aliens who hurt people, she said. The organization’s Web site accuses national Hispanic organizations of attempting to “reconquer the Southwest.”
Immigration activists have gathered on Saturdays for the past eight weeks near Pruitt’s Home Furnishings and Carpeting at 34th Street and Thomas Road to challenge Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s enforcement of immigration laws and store management’s decision to hire off-duty deputies to keep day laborers from gathering on the property.
Yeo’s arrest was the latest in a series at the weekly protests. Sheriff’s deputies arrested the legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona in early November for undisclosed reasons . Deputies said they arrested 11 people in the area last Saturday on suspicion of being in the country illegally after stopping them for traffic violations.
At that time, Arpaio said those arrests brought the total count to 55 since the protests began.
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon sent letters to the owner of Pruitt’s and to a local day-labor organizer Monday, requesting they come to his office to negotiate a truce.
It remains unclear whether the store owner, Roger Sensing, and the organizer, Salvador Reza, will agree to meet.