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Police: Man punches mom over Christmas ornament

6:54 PM, Dec 17, 2013   |    comments
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Lewis Atwood

CASCO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- What started with decorating a Christmas tree ended with an Allegan County man in jail, accused of beating up his own mother.

Investigators say Lewis Atwood, 33, attacked his mother at their Casco Township home early Saturday morning because of a dispute over a Christmas ornament.

A Christmas tree is a symbol for the season of giving. It's supposed to bring families together, but for some families it can be too close for comfort.

"They could hear screaming, yelling, they could actually hear a woman making a statement that she was being hurt," says Captain Frank Baker with the Allegan County Sheriff's Office.

Captain Baker is describing the 911 call coming from a house in Casco Township, where a family was getting in the Christmas spirit. Investigators say that's when Lewis Atwood got angry with his mother.

"He had punched his mother four or five times, she suffered a bloody nose,had a cut lip," says Captain Baker. "They were decorating the Christmas tree, he had found that there was only an ornament with his brothers name and not one with his on it, which upset him."

Atwood's girlfriend and brother were also at the home. Captain Baker says family feuds and even tragedies are not uncommon this time of year.

"I've seen everything from suicides to people who've celebrated too much, and unfortunately had to spend the holiday in jail," says Captain Baker.

There's one common factor in many of the holiday season incidents, alcohol. Captain Baker estimates that at least half of the time, someone's been drinking. Investigators say Atwood was also drunk.

"If you are feeling some stress, you are feeling emotional, maybe watch the alcohol-- you don't need to throw fuel on the fire," says Captain Baker.

Now the only Christmas gift Atwood needs is someone to bail him out of jail. He's facing misdemeanor domestic assault charges. His mother suffered minor injuries and is expected to be OK.

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