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'NOT Spreading Holiday Cheer': Video Shows Man In Reindeer Slippers Pushing Woman Out Of Wheelchair

Phoenix police say Austin Shurbutt was still wearing the reindeer slippers when he was arrested after the alleged theft attempt in a light rail car. 

By Gina Tron
Police Release Surveillance Footage of Man Pushing Woman Out Of Wheelchair

An Arizona man is accused of pushing a woman out of a wheelchair on a light rail car in an attempt to steal it, all while wearing festive reindeer slippers.

Needless to say, Santa and his reindeer would not approve,

The City of Phoenix Police Department posted footage of the incident, which occurred the day after Thanksgiving, on Saturday in an attempt to identify the alleged grinch.

“Despite his reindeer slippers, this criminal was NOT spreading holiday cheer,” police wrote. “He tried to steal a wheelchair right out from under a woman, but hero passengers on the light rail came to her rescue.”

“The video is tough to watch,” police warned social media users.

Surveillance footage appears to show a man fighting with a woman in a wheelchair. She resists, and even grabs the poles around her to try to remain in place.

“The woman tries to hold on but eventually gets dumped out of her wheelchair and the guy takes off with it,” police state. The suspect then exits the light rail car with the wheelchair. Though blurry, other passengers can be seen fighting with him to gain control of the wheelchair. Once they got the chair back, the culprit runs in the direction of the surveillance camera, revealing his reindeer slippers.

Man Steals Wheelchair

Saturday’s posting paid off as “the reindeer slipper wearing criminal who tried to rob a woman from her wheelchair is under arrest,” police posted just hours later. They credited Facebook users for sharing the video.

The suspect has been identified as Austin Shurbutt, 26, who has now been charged with robbery, kidnapping and assault.

Police noted that “he was still wearing the reindeer slippers when he was arrested.”

It’s unclear if Shurbutt has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf. 

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