Woman Caught on Camera Harassing Downtown Carriage Tours

April 20, 2017, 9:45 am EST | Share:

CHARLESTON, SC (ALEX HEATON, WTAT-TV) — What was supposed to be a quiet horse drawn tour of Charleston’s history became anything but when a woman was caught on camera harassing drivers and customers of a downtown Carriage company Easter Sunday.

“The animals are starving, the animals are hurting,” you could hear the woman say on cellphone video.

“We had customers, kids, it was just a really bad scene,” said Tommy Doyle, General Manager of Palmetto Carriage Works.

Doyle said Sunday’s situation is becoming an all-too-common occurrence. “We get a lot of what we call drive by activists, people that yell stuff out of the window,” he said. “We’ve had people that have come in the barn, we’ve got some people out on trespass notice to keep them away from my facility; but this is just, unfortunately, becoming part of the business now.”

But this is what really scares Doyle. “Do not swing at me, do not touch me,” said the man filming the incident as the woman approached, attempting to strike the man.

“My biggest concern is when it turned physical like that,” said Doyle. He says the driver of the carriage was pretty shaken up and customers were stunned as the woman claimed to be with the Charleston Animal Society.

“I work for the Charleston Animal Society and we are coming after the horse,” she said on camera to the carriage driver.

However, Charleston Animal Society issued a statement saying the woman in the video is not and has never been an employee. Instead, they say she is a volunteer.

Animal Society officials also say they recognize strong opinions exist regarding the carriage industry. But they wish for those opinions to be shared in a professional manner.

“Our place is open to the public 364 days a year,” said Doyle. “We’ve got the City of Charleston who comes to our facility all the time. The animals are well-fed, well taken care of.”

He went on to say if you come down and still don’t agree with what they do, that is no problem. But Doyle says you need to at least stop by to see how they operate.

The woman was identified as 62-year-old Linda Barthel. According to a police report, Barthel was taken to the hospital for medical evaluation and was not charged with a crime.