Man goes viral after mistaking Clark Griswold decoration for actual man dangling from roof

A veteran showed the goodness of his heart when he tried to save a man that was dangling from his rooftop; he even called 911. However, after a more careful look at the “man,” he realized it was a mannequin.

Alfred Norwood Jr., a 65-year-old veteran, was on his way home after dropping his wife at work when he noticed a strange sight: a man was dangling from the rooftop of a house in Austin, Texas. Not thinking twice, Norwood got out of his truck and ran to the house to help the man in danger.

“Please hold on mister!” he said while trying to untangle the ladder that was toppled over and entangled in Christmas lights. As Norwood balance the ladder, he told the “man” “alright, can you reach it? Can you reach it?” but after getting no answer, he went back to the street to ask for help.

Norwood even called 911 before realizing his mistake once he calmed down a little: what he thought was a man, was actually a dummy. A perfect replica of Clark Griswold, a character from the classic film “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

"I’m standing by the one guy who cared enough to save somebody’s life. Thank you.”


Turns out, the homeowners, the Herleein family, decided to recreate one of the most iconic scenes of the film for their neighborhood Christmas decorations competition. They never thought they could have caused such a reaction from an unsuspecting passerby.

Source: YouTube/Washington Post

Source: YouTube/Washington Post

In the scene, Clark Griswold, Chevy Chase’s character, slips on some snow and falls on the roof while trying to put some Christmas lights on his home. He was left dangling from the gutters with no one to save him.

“I was in a panic. My heart was beating so fast,” Norwood told the Washington Post. “I had to struggle to try to get the ladder loose, and by the time I got it untangled, I was thinking to myself that he hadn’t said anything. I was thinking he’d been electrocuted.”

Source: YouTube/Washington Post

Source: YouTube/Washington Post

The incident was caught on video by the family’s surveillance cameras and posted online. It has earned a good laugh from people all over the country, including the Herleeins and Norwood’s wife.

“My wife said it was a dummy saving a dummy," he said.


Chris Heerlein explained that he was out of town at the time, and his wife was getting the kids ready for school, so she didn’t notice what was happening. However, after checking the camera’s footage, they felt terrible for Norwood.

Source: YouTube/Washington Post

Source: YouTube/Washington Post

The couple tracked down the veteran to thank him for his effort and gave him a gift card. “Hundreds of people drive by this house every day, seeing that mannequin hanging up there,” Chris Heerlein told GMA.

“And I’m standing by the one guy who cared enough to save somebody’s life. Thank you.”

To avoid any more incidents, the Herleeins put a sign outside their home that reads:

“Clark G. is part of our Christmas display. Please don’t call 911.” 

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