The temperature's dropping, the holiday ballads are bumping, and the bell-ringing Salvation Army St. Nicks are attacking blocks nationwide. That's right, 'tis the season...for dudes dressed as Santa to try and get away with murder.
While the storybooks that we grew up on might have depicted Señor Claus as a jolly soul who annually delivers presents to children around the world, we can't help but notice that the real deal seems to get himself into quite a bit of trouble. Around this time every year, a surprising number of headlines seem to surface about Father Christmas scoring himself DUIs, flashing innocent bystanders, and even attempting armed robbery.
With SantaCon, the notorious, worldwide multi-city pub crawl, kicking off this morning, we can only imagine the antics that'll result from all that wassailing. So, hide your kids. Hide your wife. Before you do, though, see just what the criminal Kringles are capable of with our list of The 10 Most Memorable Santa Arrests.
10. Drunk Driving (In A G-String)
Sure, you've heard of a DWI, but what about the more elusive DWC (Driving While Cross-dressing)? On Christmas Day in 2007, a boozed-up St. Nick imposter was apprehended for the latter after taking a wasted joyride down to Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Though the guy might've been rocking a Santa hat, those who got a bit closer quickly noticed that in place of the typical jolly red suit was a purple G-string (topped off with a lacy red camisole). Hot.
After tests showed that the man's blood-alcohol levels were above the legal limit, he was taken to jail before being released on $5,000 bail. However, to ease any worries you might have about Santa's true identity, a deputy from the police department helpfully volunteered, "We are pretty sure this is not the Santa Claus."
And there you have it.
9. Public Intoxication
Speaking of wasted Santas, another inebriated Father Christmas was taken away by Sparta cops in December 2009. According to reports, the bearded bringer of gifts stumbled out of his car and into a yard where a crew of a little kids was playing. While he didn't frighten them all with a G-string, he did proceed to start hugging them and demanding to know where his reindeer were, prompting one's mom watching from inside to call the police.
Per 9-year-old witness Katie, "I knew it wasn't the real Santa because Santa doesn't drink alcohol."
We don't know if we'd go that far, kiddo.
8. Trespassing And Resisting Arrest
When Destin, Florida, officers gave Santa look-a-like Edmund Berkeley Barksdale shit for trespassing in Clement E. Taylor park, the incensed culprit decided to return the favor a little more literally. After receiving instructions to stay away from the locale due to previous infractions, Barksdale was caught roaming there this past July by an Okaloosa County deputy, who tried to place him under arrest.
Rather than turning himself over, however, the bearded one resisted, replying, "I can't put my hands down my back because I'm making a bowel movement." Within seconds, the grimy Claus doppelganger reached into his shorts and showed the officer the results. Luckily, backup arrived on the scene soon after and no additional crap was taken.
7. Aggravated Battery
Intoxicated Christmas shopping is rarely a good idea. Last December, Adam Klimek, sporting a Santa hat and faux fur coat, was asked to leave a store called Brown Elephant (sounds like it was for the best) in Chicago after he was reportedly walking around swearing at other customers. When an employee attempted to escort the questionably drunk Klimek off the premises, however, he apparently shoved them and made a run for it. Once arresting officers caught up with him about a block away, he proceeded to spit in the face of one and kick him in the shin before being carted off.
6. Petty Larceny
This past November, Santa impostor John Anthony Hunter attempted to rip off locals while posting in front of a Charlotte grocery store. Wearing a shotty Santa hat and claiming to be a rep from Toys for Tots, the program that collects playthings for kids around the holidays, Hunter stood outside attempting to solicit money from passersby. While reports indicate that Hunter potentially could've made it out of there without getting apprehended, his last-minute, crackhead-esque urge to try and make off with one of the store's shopping carts ended up getting the best of him.
5. Dropping Trou In Front Of Mall Shoppers
In what might take the prize for the creepiest arrest on this list, a phony mall Santa by the name of Richard Mullen was spotted roaming around the Rockingham Park shopping center and dropping his trousers in front of kids and onlookers in December 2005. Thankfully the guy was sporting some red sweatpants beneath his holiday garb, but his efforts to pass the stunt off as a Christmas prank fell flat on skeeved-out police.
In a last attempt to spread the holiday terror cheer, Mullen dropped his pants for an incoming couple as he was escorted from the premises.
We knew there was a reason we never trusted mall Santas
4. Attempted Abduction
In December 2009, Kris Kringle impersonater Anthony Russo was arrested after a botched attempt to abduct a 12-year-old girl on her way to school. Armed with a box of candy canes and a unicycle (your guess is as good as ours), the Christmas creeper apparently hid in the bushes before lunging at the old-enough-to-know-better pre-teen. After breaking free of his arm grab, the girl smartly made her way over to the nearest store and reported the incident, leading to the would-be snatcher's arrest on an RTA bus. Forget the cookies and milk—looks like jail time is more likely on the menu for this faux St. Nick.
3. Attacking A 74-Year-Old Woman
In December 2004, an Atlanta mall Santa was taken away by cops after allegedly knocking a 74-year-old woman unconscious with a 2x4 wooden board. The reason? She apparently tried to swipe $145 worth of his Hersheys chocolates. Though the man tried to ditch the suit in efforts to get rid of the evidence, he was spotted fast and charged with two counts of aggravated assault. And hopefully smacked across the face with the world's biggest Hersheys bar.
2. Soliciting Minors On The Internet
We retract our previous statement: This one definitely takes the cake for all-time creepeist Santa seizure. Last May, cops posing as a 13-year-old girl on Yahoo! cuffed 50-year-old James Grey Daniel after he attempted to solicite her (them) for sex and proposed a meeting in his Mayflower, Arkansas hood later that day. Once the creeper arrived, he found himself face-to-face with the fuzz, admitting to them shortly after that he'd worked as a mall Santa for years.
Notably absent? To Catch A Predator's Chris Hansen. Too bad, we're sure this would've made for a solid holiday episode.
1. Armed Robbery
In what feels like a move dreamed up by a more gangsta version of The Grinch, one bad Santa decided it was about time he was on the receiving end when it came to Christmas loot in December 2010, and robbed a bank in, where else, St. Nicholas, Florida.
Clad in a brown leather jacket and a red-and-white Santa hat (the rest of the suit must not have been in his budget), the not-to-be-f*****-with holiday bandit fired shots from his silver semi-automatic into the ceiling to get his point across.
And you thought your visits to the bank sucked.