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Salvation Army bell ringer says 'Happy Holidays' led to assault

Dec. 17, 2013 at 2:09 PM

PHOENIX, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- A Salvation Army bell ringer in Phoenix said she was assaulted outside a Walmart store for saying "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."

Kristina Vindiola said she was ringing a bell outside the Walmart to raise money for the charity when a woman took exception to her saying "Happy Holidays," KNXV-TV, Pheonix, reported Tuesday.

"The lady looked at me," said Vindiola. "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."

Vindiola said the woman hit her in the arm before going inside the store. The bell ringer informed a store manager, who called police.

"She should've just been happy I said 'Happy Holidays,' but I got hit because I didn't say 'Merry Christmas,'" Vindiola said.

Police said they reviewed surveillance footage at the store but they were unable to come up with enough evidence to arrest the accused attacker.

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