Passerby calls 911 after being scared by Clark Griswold holiday décor
The Heerlein family’s display inspired by “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” prompted a retired veteran to call for help
By EMS1 Staff
AUSTIN, Texas — A Clark Griswold-themed holiday display sparked a passerby to call 911 for help.
USA Today reported that the Heerlein family was trying to win a neighborhood decoration contest with a display paying homage to a scene from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” in which Clark Griswold dangles from his roof while putting up lights.
The display included a dummy wearing a Griswold mask and clothes that look exactly like the ones worn by Chevy Chase in the film, with a ladder rigged underneath the dummy to look like it was tipping over.
The day after the display was put up, a passerby was captured on the family’s surveillance camera panicking over the plight of what they thought was a real person.
“Oh mister, please hold on!” the man can be heard saying in the video as he tries to straighten the ladder.
The man called 911 and yelled, “HELP!” to drivers on the street.
"He was doing everything he could to get the ladder! And he was like 'Save Clark!’” Chris Heerlein’s sister-in-law, Leah Wheless, said. "He didn't give up. Whatever he had to do, he was going to save old Clark Griswold."
Police showed up to the home and spoke to the nanny who was there at the time, prompting the Heerleins to put up a sign below the display that reads: “Clark G is part of our Christmas display, please do not call 911.”
The family also reached out to the man who called 911, who turned out to be a retired veteran named Alfred.
"I was trying to get him down any way I can, except when I started talking to him, he never said anything!" Alfred said over the phone as he laughed. "Then I thought, 'Oh my God, I hope he's not dead, let me call 911.'"
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