THE CHRISTMAS LIGHT ASSUALT
by Shannon Longneck –
Christmas lights can bring both joy and sorrow during the holiday season. While watching them twinkle and marveling at the cleaver display of your neighbors delight some, many people find putting them up and taking them down to be a horrific task, made even worse by the privilege of untangling them before they even get started. For five New Grace residents getting tangled up in lights will forever invoke a horrifying memory.
Duncan Cobair and his two dogs, Lacey and Thor, left their home in Acadia for a late night stroll at 10pm.
Andrew Palmer, of St. Georgina, was the last to leave Palmer Motors in Beauclaire. He locked up at 10pm and walked over to his car.
At 10pm, in the town of Lindley, security guard Belinda Prescott was walking the perimeter of Cole Distributors.
What do they all have in common? They were all awaken by police at the home of Essie and Walter Bravo in New Grace. “They weren’t there when I came home from shopping,” said Walter Bravo who had taken advantage of the stores’ late hours. “And I know the lights were off when I went to bed at midnight, I checked.”
“We didn’t know anything was wrong until Jerry rang our bell,” said Essie referring to their nineteen-year-old neighbor. “Then we went outside.”
The Bravo’s Christmas display includes several bushes with green lights, a large wooden sleigh and three wooden reindeer illuminated with white spot lights. It is supposed to have blown up Santa and Mrs. Claus in the sleigh and an elf standing nearby. But they had been replaced.
Andrew Palmer and Belinda Prescott were in the sleigh with Duncan Cobair sitting on the ground leaning on it. All three were naked except for red Christmas hats. The reindeer had been replaced by the two dogs with stuffed antlers on their heads. Everyone was tied in place with flashing red lights.
“When I first saw it I had to do a double take. I thought it was hilarious, the whole scene looked so lifelike. And the Bravos would be the last people I would expect to have a naked display,” said Jessie who arrived home at 3am. “I was walking over to get a closer look when one of the dogs moved and I realized they were all real. I called the police before I woke the Bravos.”
The police and EMTs arrived a few minutes later. According to EMT Kwame Shaw the three people and two dogs had been drugged with an unknown tranqulizer, which upon examination seemed to have been administered by a dart.
“I’ve seen a lot of f**ked up crap on this job, but this is a whole new level. You’ve got to be some kind of wacko to think this stuff up,” said Det. Malcolm Corley.
As all three assaults began at approximately the same time in three different towns the police are certain there were at least three perpetrators. “So far we have no suspects or motive for the crimes,” said Det. Winston Spaulding. “There doesn’t seem to be any connection between the victims other than they were assaulted at a time and in a place they thought they were alone.”
Besides being cold and a few scratches from the string of lights all the victims seemed unharmed, but were kept overnight at New Grace County Hospital and Lindley Emergency Pet Clinic, species respectfully, for observation.