A Houston couple said they were taking pictures of their 11-month-old daughter when a woman angrily confronted them -- and video of the encounter has now gone viral.
Kelyn Alyssa wrote on Facebook that she and her husband, Isaiah Allen, were taking pictures of their daughter Saturday in an esplanade located in Houston's Broadacres neighborhood. The spot is popular with photographers, KTRK-TV reported.
As Alyssa and her husband posed their baby with balloons and a blanket, a woman stepped out of a car and approached them. KTRK identified the woman as Franci Neely, a Houston lawyer, socialite and ex-wife of Houston Astros owner Jim Crane.
“This is private property,” Neely can be heard yelling in the video. She can also be seen slapping at Allen’s phone twice, and trying to move the props the couple’s daughter was posing with.
Neely had a dog with her, and Alyssa said the dog began to approach her daughter.
“In the midst of her shouting, I immediately and calmly asked her to restrain her dog as it made a beeline for the baby and it was coming dangerously close to my child,” Alyssa said. “The lady begins shouting at us that we are on private property, and that she will not restrain her dog because she can do whatever she wants there.”
Alyssa said she and her husband filed a police report after the incident. Houston police told KTRK they are investigating, but no charges have been filed at this time.
Neely said in a statement she was “very sorry” for getting upset, but disputed Alyssa’s account of the incident in the Facebook post.
“The Broadacres Homeowners Association Invests lots of money paying to maintain the trees, grass and walkways in our neighborhood,” Neely said. “The high volume of commercial photography damages the property that Broadacres HOA pays to maintain and interferes with dog walkers and others who merely want to walk under the pretty trees.”
The esplanade where the photo shoot took place, and whether the area is public or not, has been the subject of controversy in the past. The Boradacres homeowners association has said the property was deeded to the group in the 1920s, KTRK reported. It is continuing to fight the city over the property rights.
However, the city of Houston told the news station the land in question is in the public right-of-way.
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