The woman was filmed as she yelled and attacked the couple, holding a pet dog in her arms, claiming that she was protecting the walkway from commercial photographers.
It was supposed to be a pleasant day out under the dense green cover of a calm neighborhood for two young parents and their baby girl, who had just turned a year old. However, a rich socialite was captured on camera disrupting a photoshoot for a baby's first birthday, attacking the props and batting at the couple's cameras as they filmed her violent rampage. The family had chosen the spot on a public sidewalk, in Houston, under the trees to capture the special milestone in their baby's life. But it was ruined when the woman, who lived in the neighborhood, took offense at them using the walkway for their photoshoot, ABC13 reported.
Isaiah and Kelyn Allen had chosen the scenic spot for their daughter Anja's first birthday, and they had brought a blanket, some balloons, and an artificial cake to the spot as props for the shoot. While they were in the middle of their photography, Franci Neely stepped out of her car with her shoes off, and a Pomeranian in hand, and began yelling at them. Neely was seen knocking the cake to the side and dragging the blanket off the sidewalk before she slapped the balloons away. One-year-old Anja could be heard wailing in the background as the ruckus unfolded.
The socialite called them crazy and even attempted to slap the phone out of Isaiah's hand twice, while Kelyn filmed in the background and accused her of being racist.
Ever since the incident, the Allens have filed a report with the police and Neely even issued an apology about the incident. However, she attempted to explain away her behavior by claiming that the couple had not been respectful to her. And this isn't the first time she has disrupted a photoshoot either, as a video of her interrupting a prom photoshoot also surfaced after the incident.
Unacceptable that millionaire Houston socialite Franci Neely felt so invincible that she assaulted & battered this beautiful family *on tape* in broad daylight for taking photos of their precious 1-yr old daughter in a public area.😡— Dylan O. Drummond (@dodrummond) February 23, 2019
cc: @ArtAcevedohttps://t.co/gk5f0LIpI2 pic.twitter.com/YzsZRenxAh
While residents around North Boulevard in the Broadacres community have placed signs claiming that photoshoots are banned in the area, the City of Houston revealed that the esplanade and streets are in the public right-of-way. Photoshoots that block the walkway can be problematic, but so can signs that attempt to dissuade the public from using the walkway. However, the homeowners association has been fighting the city over rights to the property, claiming that the area was deeded to the association back in the 1920s.
Maybe we all just send Franci Neely Crane a copy of this photo? Anyone go an email address or something? pic.twitter.com/izC0Dy5LFn— Alan R Adair (@RadarRadar) February 22, 2019
The president of the association, Cece Fowler, said, "We had to take a stand is what we basically had to do because people were going into people's gardens, standing on people's front steps and they felt that they could just take over the neighborhood." Neely, who is the former wife of Jim Crane, owner of the Houston Astros, claimed that the association was paying for the upkeep of the property, but it was being damaged by commercial photoshoots that are regularly conducted in the area. The group revealed that they placed the signs in the area since photographers kept bringing large crowds, tables, and equipment to the neighborhood, destroying its tranquility.
It’s a residential neighborhood called Broadacres, the photoshoot space is a city-owned esplanade full of oak and magnolia trees. The people who live around the esplanade have been trying to outlaw photography there for years even though it’s a public space 🤷🏻♀️ pic.twitter.com/lQlRN1DKM1— Renfamous⭐️ (@renfamous) February 20, 2019
However, despite Neely's claims that "It's hard to remain composed when confronted by shouted threats of lawsuits and false, inflammatory accusations," this wasn't the first time she had been caught on camera interrupting a photoshoot. One Mario Montemayor sent in footage of a woman believed to be Neely interrupting a photoshoot for his daughters and their friends in their prom outfits on North Boulevard. He told ABC13, "I still feel violated that someone could just come up to you. They didn't like where you were. It was a free space. It was disturbing. I don't think she committed a crime, but she was very rude. I'm not asking for an apology, but it's disturbing we can't walk in a free space."
ANOTHER PHOTO SHOOT FIGHT: An @abc13houston viewer sent us this video of the same woman who confronted a family’s photo shoot this weekend. Why she told me she took aim at the camera at 10:00 p.m. https://t.co/aGueabb59j pic.twitter.com/aMCvvCHAXL— Nick Natario (@NickABC13) February 19, 2019
Houston Public Works released a statement to ABC13 in response to the videos and reports. "The esplanades of Broadacres are part of a public city of Houston right-of-way," they wrote.
"The Broadacres Homeowners Association cannot block the esplanades from public use. Anyone with concerns about members of the public blocking a public right-of-way are asked to call 311."