A 7-year-old girl from Old Bridge, New Jersey, called 911 in a panic after she knocked over her Elf on the Shelf. The girl, Isabelle LaPeruta, was terrified she had ruined Christmas, as she thought the elf would lose its magic after she accidentally knocked it down with a ball.
The Elf on the Shelf inspires so much fear and awe in kids that one professor actually warned it teaches children how to live in a police surveillance state. Apparently that warning wasn't too far off.
Here's a video with transcription of the conversation between poor Isabelle and the 911 operator:
She eventually realizes that calling 911 was probably a bigger mistake than knocking down the elf. Or, perhaps she fears that police involvement would draw further attention to the accident and get a report sent to the North Pole.
The police are required to visit a home if a child calls 911. Isabelle's mother, Lynanne LaPeruta, had been upstairs taking a nap and awoke to Isabelle trying to quietly dismiss the police from the front porch. The responding officer had the pleasure of radioing back to headquarters with news on why the emergency call was placed:
Isabella apologized. She touched the Elf on a Shelf. She won't call 911 again.
Old Bridge Police Lt. Joseph Mandola was also understanding about the incident:
To her, it was an emergency when she touched the elf, and she's going to ruin Christmas, so that was her emergency. In her mind, she did right, and it was fine with us.
Everyone can now agree that Elf on the Shelf has gone too far as a cultural phenomenon. People pose as the elf for hire, pose their baby as the elf, and now kids are so afraid of it that they deem it an emergency if it's moved. Perhaps it's time for the elves to permanently live in a box in the basement or attic.