COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Columbia woman was arrested after causing a disturbance at a funeral home and allegedly trying to take a body.
Cynthia Frierson told News 2 she knew the man who was being laid to rest, but it’s what she is accused of doing that landed her behind bars.
Police got the call on Labor Day after Frierson allegedly sideswiped several cars, but it was the call they got next that is bizarre.
According to the police report, the 36-year-old walked into the Roundtree-Napier-Ogilvie Funeral Home and tried to remove a body from a casket during a service.
“I did not do that,” Frierson told News 2. “When I went up, I just went up and touched him, and if they were recording, I just touched him and turned around and I said, ‘He is just asleep,’ and I said, ‘Everything is going to be OK.’”
News 2 asked if she had to be removed from the home, and Frierson said yes, but “it was not a conflict.”
“It was because I told them that he was asleep and they was like, ‘Come on, come on out of here.’ I said, ‘He is not dead. He is asleep,’ and that is it,” she recalled.
A witness in the report says Frierson began grabbing at the person inside the casket and, at one point, tried to remove the body.
The report goes on to say that the people attending the service became very angry and told Frierson to leave.
According to police, it took six people to remove her from the funeral home.
In the report, the officer said she smelled of alcohol and slurred her words.
“When they got down here, they say I was driving a truck and hit two cars, and they said I was driving on a revoked [license],” said Frierson “They tried to say drug paraphernalia and disorderly of a funeral service, and I haven’t done anything.”
While being booked into jail, the report says a glass pipe with black residue was found in Frierson’s possession.
Frierson was charged with disrupting funeral or memorial service, public intoxication, driving on revoked/suspended license, immediate notice of accident and unlawful drug paraphernalia.
“I’m sorry about the police coming down there, and it is awful,” said Frierson.
Keith Mayes Sr., whose father was being laid to rest, told News 2 that his family was upset with Frierson’s actions. However, he hopes she can get the help she needs.
“She kept saying, ‘He is not dead, he is sleeping,’ so when she did make one effort to touch his hand at that time my brother and I told her that she would have to step away from the casket, which she did and as she was walking down the aisle we told her we wanted her to leave,” explained Mayes.
“But as upset as we were about her presence, I don’t want her to be accused of something that she did not do, and in no way did she try to remove his body from the casket.”News 2 is committed to tracking crime across Middle Tennessee. Visit wkrn.com/crimetracker for the latest.