Man arrested for slapping phone out of 12-year-old girl’s hand in Pismo Beach

July 27, 2017

After a video of the incident went viral on social media, Pismo Beach police arrested a 43-year-old Bakersfield man who slapped a phone out of the hands of a 12-year-old girl during an altercation at a South County gas station.

On Tuesday afternoon, the 12-year-old girl stopped at the ARCO station on 4th Street in Pismo Beach in a car driven by her older sister, Beverly Bedford. According to a Facebook post authored by Bedford, Christopher Michael Strong, 43, was angry that she got to a gas pump before he did.

Christopher Michael Strong

“This man was upset that I got to a gas pump before him, he was verbally harassing me the whole time I pumped gas,” Bedford wrote on Facebook. “He was taking photos of me. As you can see, he didn’t like it done to him so he SMACKED my little sister when she was holding the phone up!”

In the video, Strong is seen walking toward the 12-year-old, who is holding the cell phone camera.

“I said, say everything you were saying before,” the girl said to Strong.

“You’re a fat tub of shit,” Strong responded.

Strong then knocks the phone out of the girl’s hands, prompting her to say, “Oh somebody call the cops now. Call the cops.”

Bedford reported the incident to Pismo Beach police at about 2:38 p.m. on Tuesday. However, Bedford described what happened as a possible road rage incident and made no mention of anyone being battered. She only requested documentation, a police department news release states.

Around 5 p.m., after the video began circulating on social media, a media outlet called the police department asking for information about a report of juvenile being punched in the face during an argument at the Pismo Beach gas station. Police then investigated the incident further.

On Wednesday, Strong came to the Pismo Beach Police Department to provide his statement on the incident. Although police confirmed Armstrong did not punch the girl, officers arrested him for battery and booked him into San Luis Obispo County Jail.

Strong is no longer in custody, according to the county sheriff’s office website. The original video that Bedford posted has garnered more than 250,000 views on Facebook.

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I have kids these girls’ ages. I am concerned about this situation all around.

I think people need to learn to de-escalate situations rather than ratchet up the anger with cameras and video. If these girls were my kids, I would tell them that this man had NO RIGHT to reach into the car and slap the phone out of their hands, but I would also say that rather than antigonize the man, they should have tried to calmly pump their gas, or even go INSIDE the store and ask for assistance.

I totally get that sometimes situations cannot be de-escalated and safety should be in mind. That is why I worry about girls who sit there in a situation like this. I mean, the guy COULD have reached in and blown the girl’s face off. Also, this dude needs to be forced in to anger management classes. If he cannot remain calm around two annoying teenage girls, then he needs some lessons on behavior modification and mediation or something.

“43-year-old Bakersfield man”

43? okay yeah, from Bakersfield? yep I guess so, but a man? I think not.

Bullying a little girl? This guy needs a beating from a man.

Bet you that the cop’s will use the Video from the filling station to put heat on this knuckle head from the valley. But all of these gas stations with no Rhyme or Reason to how get in a logical row to wait to get gas has a lot of responsibility in this stuff. A man in Santa Maria was shot for cutting the line.

so whats the search name

Where’s the link to the video. It’s a viral video, and you’re not providing the link?

If its viral then you should be able to google it in two seconds. Dont have the time? Yea it would be great if they included it but no reason to cop an attitude. Its the internet.

Yes, it’s the internet. The author should post the link, from the internet.

And it’s not that viral, I took a couple minutes to look, didn’t see it, and said forget it.

The author could include the link, or 100 people reading the article could each spend a few minutes looking, so a few hundred minutes spent.

I assume he had the link, and viewed the video. But perhaps he or she just copied, massaged text, and pasted, without ever taking the time to review it.

Shoddy, lazy journalism.

By the time I got to this comment, I was no longer interested in the story, let alone searching for a video or anything else.

If its viral then you should be able to google it in two seconds.


Viral? The term viral is used loosely. More like a couple of sneezes rather than the full blown flu. It’s nowhere to be found any longer.