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Woman arrested for disorderly conduct at Secretary of State branch

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Christal Bonner is upset after being arrested at a Secretary of State office in St. Clair Shores  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Christal Bonner is upset after being arrested at a Secretary of State office in St. Clair Shores (Credit: Fox 2 News)
ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. (WJBK) -

"You want to get Detroit straight get Michigan straight.  Get Michigan straight and stop having people held up in those Secretary of State [offices] like cattle," said Christal Bonner.

She showed us the bruises on her wrists from being handcuffed.  Bonner was arrested for disorderly conduct at the Secretary of State branch in St. Clair Shores on Tuesday shortly before 5:00 p.m. in a packed office where she had been waiting for more than an hour and a half when she demanded to see a supervisor.

"I said, 'Are you the supervisor?'  And she said, 'Are you the one that's been yelling you want to see a supervisor?'  She said, 'I'm going to call the police on you and have you arrested for disorderly conduct.'  I said, 'Madam, I didn't come down here to get threatened by the police.  I came here to take care of some business.  Can't you see this place is out of control?' she explained.

Bonner said she went back to her seat in the standing room only crowd and called a complaint number she had been given, then two St. Clair Shores police officers arrived.

"I looked around and I said, 'Did anyone call H-19.'  And that's when the police officer said, 'That's it.'  He grabbed my arms, yanked [them] behind my back and crushed some handcuffs on me.  And then he proceeded to jerk me around," she said.

St. Clair Shores police said they will look into Bonner's complaints, but that she refused to listen to the officers and calm down.

A spokesperson with the Secretary of State told us the manager called police after Bonner began swearing and yelling at staff, being abusive and disrupting the operation of the entire office.  That spokesperson also admitted the office was extremely crowded that day.

"Is this how they're handling their customer service?  If it gets too crowded let's just call the police and have you hauled out of here," said Bonner.  "I've never been arrested in my life.  I'm a law abiding citizen.  I have six children.  I'm a teacher, okay.  I'm a taxpayer."

Bonner is not the only one complaining.  So many Secretary of State branches have closed it seems the ones that are left are just way too crowded.

In the last ten years, branch offices have been consolidated.  They are down from around 170 locations to 130, and staff has been cut by 25 percent.

"It's terrible because I live in Algonac and the one that was up in Marine City was wonderful.  If you waited two minutes that was it," said Jan Cusmano.  "It closed."

"We're like cattle.  They can't get away with this.  We have to have good customer service in the State of Michigan," Bonner said.

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