A seven-year-old girl had a Christmas emergency, afraid that she ruined Christmas after she dropped “Elf on the Shelf” and decided called 911. The story was first reported on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, but actually happened Saturday evening, Dec. 19. The girl, Isabelle LaPeruta living in Old Bride, New Jersey was playing in her room when she knocked over the toy elf, panicking she called 911. According to the children’s book “Elf on the Shelf” touching or moving an elf doll can cause Christmas to lose its magic.
In a panic, the girl called 911, but immediately second-guessed her decision, telling the dispatcher “Don’t come to my house, don’t!” The girl then said she made a mistake dialing and said she “was trying to call my dad.” The operator told her “You can just say you made a mistake.”
The police were still required to send an officer to the house to check after a call. When they did Isabelle tried “shush the officer away,” saying her mother was napping. Old Bridge Police Lt. Joseph Mandola recounted to the press what happened, saying, “The officer got there and the little girl came out and was trying to shush him away and saying “you can go now.'”
In the end, her mother woke up her the commotion, and described that her daughter “was hysterical crying; she was panicking.” Mandola said, “She knows 911 is just for emergencies, but in her mind she was scared to death that Christmas was ruined and Santa wouldn’t come.”
The girl had to explain that when she was playing ball in her room she knocked her elf down. The officer calming the girl down told her to “make sure to tell Santa it was just an accident,” and that “she didn’t have to call 911 in the future over her ‘Elf on the Shelf.'”
Isabelle was afraid that she called 911 and later said, “I didn’t want to get in trouble.” Afterwards, the officer reported to the station, “Isabella apologized. She touched the Elf on a Shelf. She won’t call 911 again.”
The girl’s mother Lynanne LaPeruta spoke to ABC News on Wednesday, and recounted that her daughter Isabelle “thought that since the Elf fell, the house would lose its Christmas magic and that Santa wasn’t going to come anymore.” The mother explained, “I told her, ‘Isabelle, you can’t just call 911! It has to be a serious emergency. But she was crying it was an emergency, and she needed help because Santa might be mad at her.”
Still worried about the little girl, the police had one of the members of their Fire Department, who routinely dress up as Santa Claus visiting the neighborhood children to make sure to visit Isabelle. On Tuesday, Santa came a bit early to Isabelle’s home telling her “Everything is ok, don’t worry about the elf.”
The “Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition” is a children’s book first published in 2004, written by “Carol Aebersold and daughter Chanda Bell and illustrated by Coë Steinwart,” and comes in a keepsake box with an elf toy. The website explains the legend, “The elves are magical helpers that help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists by reporting back to him at the North Pole nightly.”
The “Elf on the Shelf” book instructs “There’s only one rule that you have to follow, so I will come back and be here tomorrow: Please do not touch me. My magic might go, and Santa won’t hear all I’ve seen or I know.” The elf supposedly sits all year round monitoring to see if a child is naughty or nice. The book has been criticized for its message of surveillance and scaring children not to touch the doll.