VIDEO: Woman takes swings at carriage workers, threatens to 'come after horses'

This photo pulled from video provided by Palmetto Carriage Works shows the woman swinging her arm at one of the employees who was recording the incident on a cell phone.

Video from Easter Sunday shows what two groups with different opinions on a hot-button issue both condemn.

The video provided by Palmetto Carriage works shows a woman becoming verbally aggressive with carriage workers, taking swings on some and saying she represents the Charleston Animal Society.

Palmetto Carriage Works general manager Tommy Doyle said his company is now in the process of filing charges after what he described as a “horribly uncomfortable situation” for carriage riders, workers, children in the area and the horses.

“Our biggest concern now is the involvement of the Charleston Animal Society,” Doyle said.

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The Charleston Animal Society responded Wednesday, and the organization was able to say the woman seen in the video is not an employee of the organization and has never been an employee.

CAS issued the following statement after clarifying the woman has supported and volunteered for the organization in the past, as have many people on both sides of the issue regarding horse carriage regulations.

“The woman seen in the video is not an employee and has never been an employee. She is not and was not authorized to speak on behalf of Charleston Animal Society. We have not authorized or condoned this type of communication. To that point, we have never criticized individuals or an individual carriage company. We have, however been critical of the system that oversees the carriage industry. We believe improvements are needed to make it more humane for the horses.”

In a more lengthy statement released Wednesday afternoon the animal society went on to state major reform of the system is needed.

"Charleston Animal Society and local and national animal welfare organizations support an independent, scientific, peer-reviewed study by university equine experts to answer questions on what conditions would comprise a humane working environment," the statement reads. "The proposed study would cover the responses of the animals to conditions in their working environment. "...These working horses operate under the harshest conditions in the nation, along with a lack of compliance and enforcement of the current law governing the enterprise. Therefore, Charleston Animal Society deems the current system inhumane and has called for significant reform based on an independent, scientific study."

Palmetto Carriage Works issued the following statement, also published on their website, in response to the incident and the woman's claims.

“We’re coming here for the horses” - Publicly the Charleston Animal Society has claimed they only are looking out for the welfare of the horses. However, we know that their ultimate goal is to shut down the entire carriage industry (which could ultimately leave many horses and mules displaced and without the high level of care that they are currently receiving.)
“The animals are starving. They are hurting.” - This absolutely isn’t true. Our animals’ welfare is Palmetto Carriage Works first priority. We are committed to giving the best possible care to our horses and mules.We make sure they are well-fed, groomed, have regular check-ups. and get frequent vacation at our farm on John’s Island. Anyone that has come for a visit to the Big Red Barn will see that we treat our horses and mules as part of our Palmetto Carriage family! Click here to learn more about their care.
Overall, we believe that our employees and customers should not have to worry about their safety. Even after being assaulted by the woman, you can see our driver acted professionally and did what was necessary to protect our guests, but we feel like he should never have been in that situation to begin with. Violent outbursts like these, if they escalate, have the potential to put both the animals and our passengers in danger.

At last check, the woman in the video, 62-year-old Linda Barthel, had not been charged with a crime. According to an incident report provided by the Charleston Police Department, she was transported by EMS and later informed she is on a criminal trespass warning from the carriage company.

"My family has been in business doing this for 40 years, and this is the first time I’ve had to have a trespass notice against people who might come into my building to do me or my animals harm," Doyle said.

** ABC News 4's Alex Heaton contributed to this report.

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