Bell Ringer Slugged for Saying 'Happy Holidays'

Bah humbug! A round-up of crimes against Christmas.

December 16, 2013, 10:16 AM
PHOTO: A donation is made as Salvation Army bell ringer Ruben Rios works outside a store as seen in this file photo taken on November 21, 2003 on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago.
A donation is made as Salvation Army bell ringer Ruben Rios works outside a store as seen in this file photo taken on November 21, 2003 on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago.
Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Dec. 16, 2013— -- intro: Whatever happened to goodwill toward man and yuletide glee?

Just when we're getting cozy by the fire, reading stories that make us believe in Santa again, a few grinches have to come along and throw a wrench in the holiday merriment.

Here's a round-up of some serious Scrooge-like behavior.

quicklist: 1title: The Great December Dilemmatext: Do you say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays?"

Kristina Vindiola was working as a bell ringer outside of a Phoenix Walmart when she claims she was assaulted for saying "Happy holidays."

"The lady looked at me," Vindiola told ABC News' Phoenix affiliate KNXV-TV. "I thought she was going to put money in the kettle. She came up to me and said, 'Do you believe in God?' And she says, 'You're supposed to say Merry Christmas,' and that's when she hit me."

James Holmes, spokesman for the Phoenix Police Department, told that officers were called to the Walmart after the alleged assault. Holmes said officer didn't find the alleged assailant or enough evidence to file charges.

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quicklist: 2title: Nativity Scene Nabbed From California Family's Yardtext: Thou shalt not steal may be one of the Ten Commandments, but it didn't stop someone from swiping a California family's nativity scene.

Thieves made off with the Roth family's hand-crafted display early Dec. 7, leaving behind just the Star of Bethlehem.

"It's just more something that was special to myself and my family because of the time it took to make it," Mindy Roth told ABC News' Los Angeles station KABC.

Roth said she's hoping someone will return the set, which includes Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus, because it has sentimental value.

Her 7-year-old son has a suspect, she said.

"The Grinch."

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quicklist: 3title: Duo Caught on Camera Stealing Santastext: Jospehine Michetti loves to decorate her Philadelphia home for the holidays with mini-trees, Santa figures and handmade garland, light-up gifts and candies.

But on Nov. 26, the grandmother woke up and found her Santas were missing.

Surveillance footage from Michetti's son's house across the street, released by the Philadelphia Police Department, showed a woman approaching the house around 2:15 a.m., unplugging a Santa and taking him away.

About an hour later, the same female suspect returned with a man and they cut away the second Santa at the top of the steps and stole him. The woman even fixed the mini-tree she had knocked over while stealing the first Santa earlier.

While the theft was frustrating, it certainly hasn't dampened Michetti's holiday spirit.

Earlier this month, she told she received a special delivery from Kindy's, a Christmas store in Philadelphia.

"They just came and brought me a bunch of boxes, all Christmas decorations," she said. "I can't believe it. They knew [the thieves] stole my Santas and they came and brought me new Santas. I thought it was so nice of them."

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quicklist: 4title: Grinch Takes Presents and Woman's Dogtext: The Saturday after Thanksgiving wasn't so jolly for a Fort Wayne, Ind., woman who had the double whammy experience of having thieves steal her presents and her dog.

Thieves made off with big-ticket items from Sheila Snyder's home, including a PlayStation, a 72-inch television and a MacBook, Fort Wayne Police Department spokesperson Michael Joyner told

Four days later, Snyder was reunited with the one irreplaceable thing she wanted back -- her bulldog Charlie. Joyner said the puppy was dropped off at animal control after his face was plastered on the local news.

Police are still investigating the incident and said the presents haven't been recovered.

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quicklist: 5title: Couple's Alleged Christmas Party Spat Turns Uglytext: Green may be the color of the holiday, but it doesn't look so good when it's associated with envy.

An allegedly jealous wife is accused of running over her husband outside of a holiday party in Queen Anne, Wash.

Christina Forrest, 24, left the party and then called her husband to come outside to talk to her and they continued to argue in the car, Officer Mark Jamieson told ABC News.

"During their argument, her husband got out of the vehicle and started walking away. His wife drove towards him and hit him," Jamieson said.

Police said Forrest was pulled over later when a Washington State Patrol trooper saw her driving erratically.

Forrest was arrested and charged with assault. She has not yet entered a plea.

Her husband, whose name was not released, was taken to Harborview Medical Center with injuries to his face, wrist and legs, police said, and was in stable condition.

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