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Fired Smoothie King Employee Kidnapped Manager, Threatened to Throw Her into Traffic: Cops

Keshia Lynette Christmas

Keshia Lynette Christmas in a mugshot from a prior criminal case

A fired Smoothie King employee is wanted for allegedly kidnapping her manager, threatening to throw her into traffic, and stealing from both her and the store.

Keshia Lynette Christmas, 34, was charged with aggravated kidnapping, robbery, and retaliation or obstruction. Police said in court documents that the manager at her restaurant fired her.

“The Complainant stated she had several issues with the Defendant, not showing up for work and coming into work late,” authorities wrote in a Dec. 22 complaint. “The Complainant stated after several write-ups she decided to terminate the Defendant’s employment on Monday December 12, 2022.”

A week after her charge, authorities say she’s still at large. Prosecutors moved to revoke her bond in an unrelated criminal case on Tuesday.

According to cops, the manager said Christmas did not pick up the phone, so she left a message. That was Dec. 12. The next day, the manager briefly left the restaurant for another Smoothie King to get a cord for a faulty resister. Meanwhile, Christmas arrived at their location with her 15-year-old daughter to pick up the check, officers said. The employee working the counter told her she was fired. Christmas allegedly got mad, started yelling, went behind the counter, and went into the register

The manager returned. According to cops, she said Christmas demanded her final paycheck. The manager got it.

“The Complainant stated suddenly the Defendant grabbed her by her neck and slammed her against the wall three times,” police wrote. “The Complainant stated the Defendant slapped her in the face several times, which caused her pain. The Complainant stated the Defendant was choking her to the point where she could not breathe and started gasping for air.”

The 15-year-old daughter screamed for her mother to let the manager go, according to the affidavit.

“The Complainant stated the Defendant kept yelling and screaming but the only thing she understood was ‘you are not going to ruin my Christmas,'” police wrote.

Christmas allegedly demanded money from the manager and walked her across Richmond Avenue for a Wells Fargo bank. The daughter followed behind.

“The Complainant stated the Defendant told her if she tried to run, she would throw her into oncoming traffic,” police wrote. Officers described Christmas as being an inch taller and 84 pounds heavier than the victim.

While commandeering the manager’s phone, Christmas demanded the manager withdraw $200, and the manager, afraid for her life, complied, according to the affidavit. Christmas threw back the phone, and the manager ran back to the Smoothie King and locked herself in the bathroom to call cops.

The manager said Christmas later texted her, including the victim’s home address.

“Everyone will know you!!!” Christmas allegedly wrote. “See you tomorrow morning.”

The manager said she sustained bruising to her neck from when Christmas grabbed her. Police noted that a picture showed a scratch on the right side of her neck.

Surveillance footage showed Christmas taking pictures of the manager’s cards that she removed from the victim’s purse, officers wrote.

“The Defendant is also seen going through the safe in the office,” police wrote. “Moments before the Defendant assaults the Complainant, the Defendant turned off the security camera monitor, however, the cameras were still recording.”

Footage showed her putting her hand on the manager’s neck and pinning her to the wall, and pushing her to against the wall three times, police said. She then apparently slapped the manager.

“At this time, the Defendant’s daughter and Witness enter the office,” police wrote. “The Defendant continued to scream at the Complainant while her daughter watched in shock.”

According to cops, the manager said that Christmas stole $7 from her purse, $34 from the store safe, and $40 from the register.

In identifying Christmas as the suspect, police noted a mugshot from a previous arrest. Records show she was charged in June with assault of a family or household member under a previous conviction. The alleged victim in this case was someone with whom she was dating, documents said. Christmas grabbed this person, authorities said. Texas authorities noted a March 2022 conviction in Minnesota for domestic assault. The victim in that case was a member of Christmas’ family, authorities said.

[Mugshot via Houston Police Department]

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