Santa's helper charged after spraying NC family with mace

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — One of Santa's helpers at a North Carolina mall is facing assault charges after police said she sprayed a family with mace.

Elsie Brooks said the incident happened while she and her family were taking her 3-year-old daughter to see Santa Tuesday night at the Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem.

Brooks claimed that the elf working at the display became angry and started yelling at them when her mother and grandmother approached and began taking pictures.

Brooks said the woman yelled, "You need to get behind the line! You need to get behind the line ma'am, you can't be past that line."

The family yelled back at her before they said they walked away and went to find mall security.

Before they left, they took pictures of the company's name and of the worker in order to file a complaint, but said that’s when Santa's helper, identified as Shannon Watkins, sprayed them with mace.

Winston-Salem police charged Watkins with simple assault.

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