Trump aide Kellyanne Conway reported to police that she was assaulted at a Mexican restaurant in Bethesda, Maryland, last year in front of her daughter.
A woman grabbed Conway from behind, shook her and shouted "shame on you," Conway told police and CNN.
"Her whole face was terror and anger. She was right here, and my daughter was right there. She ought to pay for that," Conway said in a CNN interview published Friday.
Mary Elizabeth Inabinett, of Chevy Chase, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and second-degree assault in connection with the alleged attack on Conway, according to court records. Inabinett's lawyer said no assault took place and his client was just expressing her personal opinions.
Conway was at a birthday event with her daughter at Uncle Julio's Mexican Restaurant in Bethesda on Oct. 14, 2018 when another diner approached her and started yelling, according to a police report.
Conway told police she initially thought another partygoer was trying to give her a hug but she turned around to find Inabinett screaming and making aggressive hand gestures. She also told police the woman shook her for a few seconds and yelled at her for up to 10 minutes.
Inabinett was yelling "shame on you," according to a police report. Conway's daughter filmed some of the encounter, the report said.
The restaurant manager told police that Inabinett was separated from Conway and taken out of the restaurant before she went into a parking garage across the street.
Police pulled receipts from the restaurant, then found the suspect's name and photos. On Nov. 20, Conway went to the police station in Bethesda and identified Inabinett as the alleged assailant.
Inabinett faces charges that could carry fines or jail time — including a maximum sentence of 10 years in the assault.
Inabinett's attorney, William Alden McDaniel, Jr., denied that his client assaulted Conway.
"Ms. Inabinett saw Kellyanne Conway, a public figure, in a public place, and exercised her First Amendment right to express her personal opinions," he wrote in an email sent to NBC Washington. "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."
Her trial date is set for March.
Inabinett’s longtime neighbor Peter Dove said he doesn't think she's capable of assaulting anyone.
“It's unbelievable,” he said. “She's not that forceful a personality and I think she's a gentle lady, I would say.”
Conway is the latest official from the Trump administration to meet hostility or protest while dining in D.C.-area restaurants. In June, as the Trump administration was scrutinized for separating parents and children who crossed the southern border, protesters chanting "Shame!" disrupted U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's meal at MXDC Cocina Mexicana. She ultimately left the restaurant.
In July, a woman carrying her son approached former EPA head Scott Pruit at a cafe in D.C. and asked him to resign.
White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked by staff in June to leave the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia. Sanders said she "politely left."
Rene Sandler, a former Montgomery County prosecutor who is now a defense lawyer, told News4 public shaming becomes criminal when someone intentionally touches another person without that person’s consent or someone’s conduct is intimidating or puts a person in fear.
CORRECTION (Feb. 8, 2019, 9:23 a.m.): An earlier version of this story briefly reversed Inabinett's first and middle names and did not accurately reflect the length of time that the alleged shaking lasted, according to a police report.