SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) — South Lake Tahoe police are defending their decision to handcuff “Christmas Carol”, a beloved local woman known for blowing kisses and waving to passersby from street corners.
Police handcuffed and detained “Christmas” Carol Christensen after she refused to obey an officer’s orders.
CBS13 caught up with Christensen after the incident.
“I just love everybody,” Christensen said.
Her smile was as wide as ever even after a trip to the hospital for a dislocated shoulder she says she suffered when an officer pulled her arms behind her back to handcuff her.
Jessica Barackman recorded a video of the incident from her store across the street. She says before she began recording as she watched the officer throw Christensen down to the ground.
“I was like sick to my stomach that they would hurt her like that,” Barackman said. “She’s like one of the most nice ladies you’ll ever meet.”
After the video went viral South Lake Tahoe police released dashcam video of the incident. You can briefly see Christensen in a construction zone before the officer tells her to move.
Officer: “you need to get out of the road…you’re going to get hit by a car…”
Christensen: “…stop ordering people around…”
Officer: “…you’re all over the road…”
With the officer and Christensen out of frame, audio captures the exchange escalating.
Officer: “…go to the sidewalk…you’re gonna go to jail…go to the sidewalk…”
Christensen: “….you’re gonna go to jail…”
South Lake Tahoe police say their video shows the officer asked Christensen to move to the sidewalk 13 times before he was forced to take her into custody for her own safety. Christensen was cited and released.