For some folks, ’tis a holly, brawl-y Christmas. One Florida woman was getting that seasonal vibe when she decided to use the family’s artificial Christmas tree to attack her boyfriend. Police eventually arrived to break up the fight and haul her off to jail.
According to the New York Post, 38-year-old Krystall Graham was charged with domestic battery after the early morning incident at her Clearwater home.
Following a call they received before 7 am, cops forced their way into the house. They “found Graham and her boyfriend in the midst of a brawl.”
Graham told police that the fight ensued over the TV volume being too loud while she was sleeping. Graham’s two children, ages 8 and 2, were present at the time of the attack.
According to the arrest affidavit, she told authorities that she “squared up to the victim and was screaming in his face.”
At that point, she spotted the tree. She admitted that she took it apart, and threw the three sections at her partner who she has been in a relationship with for eight years.
The victim was noted by police to have scratches and abrasions on his face, neck, and stomach.
Graham was booked into the Pinellas County jail on the misdemeanor charge and was released on her own recognizance after a night in jail, according to The Smoking Gun.
The story is a bit unusual due to the tree being used as a weapon, but according to experts, crimes of emotion do increase around the holidays … a season which can generally be a stressful time for people, increasing chances for conflict.
Dr. Sherry Hamby, editor of the Psychological Association journal “Psychology of Violence,” recently told Oxygen that there are several factors that may explain why violence and crime rise during the holidays.
“Crimes spike on days off–so, all year round, crime rates are much higher on Friday and Saturday and is higher at night than in the morning,” Hamby said. “So any increase during the holidays might be simply due to more idle time and more drinking and other drug use.”
“Some people experience depression during the holidays because it can highlight feelings of loneliness or create pressure to spend time with family, and for some people that means spending time in high-conflict situations,” she added.
“Not a year goes by when we don’t see a seasonal spike in incidents reported to the police,” according to a NewStatesman article. “According to UK government figures from 2012, assault and domestic murders increase 25 percent during the festive period and incidents go up by a third on Christmas Day itself.”
“Experts said they see more instances of domestic violence around the holiday season,” News4Jax reported.
According to the station’s article, “National statistics show that calls to police and domestic violence hotlines increase by 22 percent on Thanksgiving, 17 percent on Christmas, and 32 percent on New Year’s Day.” Experts claim the main reasons are “the stress and expectations of the holiday, which can bring out violent tendencies in a person who already has them.”
The PSNI have launched a campaign to highlight the problem of domestic violence over the Christmas holidays. They took almost 400 calls between Christmas Day and December 27th last year and say there has been a steady rise in the number of reported cases in the last five years pic.twitter.com/8h9OlX0ws2
— BBC Newsline (@bbcnewsline) December 9, 2019
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