It’s that time of year again. Mistletoe, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, stockings hung from the chimney with care, peace on Earth, and goodwill towards our fellow man. The Christmas season is a stressful, yet joyous time for most of us. Once the strain of tracking down presents, Christmas pageants, visits with Santa, never-ending cookie trays, and Wal-mart stampedes are finally over we wake up on Christmas morning to see a tree loaded with colorful packages underneath, we see the excitement on our children’s faces, and we enjoy the company of friends and family. Unfortunately, all that joy and good cheer doesn’t stop the Grinches and the Scrooges of the world from sucking the spirit out of the season and finding their way onto Santa’s naughty list.
“Great Day for a Parade”
David Allen Rogers decided to start the festivities a little early and tied a few off before driving a float in the annual Anderson, South Carolina Christmas parade. Growing frustrated with the long line, Rogers decided to pull his truck, along with 18 other people in tow, around the rest of the parade procession and sped off down the road. A frantic parent dialed 911 from her cell phone as Rogers drove erratically through two red lights, several stop signs, and jumped a set of railroad tracks. Charged with driving while intoxicated, 18 counts of kidnapping, along with myriad other charges, Rogers spent his holiday season nursing a hangover in jail with a $50,000 bond. When witnesses were questioned about the ordeal one woman quoted Rogers as saying “It’s a great day for a parade”.
A Massachusetts mall Santa was arrested after allegedly groping a teenage elf. 62-year-old Herbert Jones reportedly made inappropriate comments to his young co-worker such as “I wish you were a little older and I were a little younger”, then later reaching over and pinching her behind. The girl immediately went to her manager and complained that Santa had pinched her butt. After making the allegation, Jones asked to speak with the girl. The girl says that during their conversation Jones yelled at her and claimed that her accusations were completely unfounded. Witnesses also backed up the girl’s story, stating that they had seen Jones reach over towards her rear, but were uncertain if he had made physical contact with her. Jones maintains that she merely brushed against him and he moved his hand away to avoid contact. Jones was ordered to stay away from the shopping center and banned from playing Santa at any other location until further notice.
Kidnapped by Santa
In another story of Santa behaving badly, 55-year-old John Michael Barton was gassing up his Triumph motorcycle dressed in full Santa regalia, complete with a stuffed reindeer in his sidecar, at a gas station in Columbia, South Carolina. Naturally Barton attracted the attention of a family that had also pulled into the station, and offered to take the children to see the motorcycle and his reindeer. After a few minutes of interacting with the girls, two of the sisters went back into the store, while the eldest of the three remained outside with Barton. Suddenly Barton jumped on the bike with the 8yr old in his sidecar and sped off. Realizing what had happened the girls’ father immediately jumped into his car and followed Barton, while their mother remained at the store with the other two children. Once catching up with Barton, the father had a brief confrontation with him before returning to the store. Police tracked Barton down at a local bar hiding in a utility room. Barton claims that the incident was a complete misunderstanding, and promised he would not be dressing up as Santa again.
In 2011 a UK man was charged with having a bit too much holiday cheer. Ian Richards was arrested for the cultivation of marijuana, after it was discovered that he had grew a cannabis plant to resemble a Christmas tree. The 5ft tall illegal shrubbery was complete with ornaments and colored lights. In addition to the tree, investigators removed several other smaller plants. Officers on the scene stated “By using a 5ft tall cannabis plant as a Christmas tree, Richards showed a total disregard for the law.” Although Richards claimed that the plants were strictly for personal use, the judge showed no sympathy, sentencing Richards to 18mo behind bars.
The Murder of Frosty
A couple of teenage delinquents were caught on tape vandalizing Christmas decorations. While these sorts of shenanigans are nothing new, 18yr old Robert Snell and Nathan Ayers were witnessed trashing the festive décor, then taking a screwdriver and violently stabbing a large inflatable Frosty the Snowman decoration. The pair was also accused of smashing a car with a decorative candy cane earlier in the month. Charged with misdemeanor criminal damaging, these two Grinches most certainly made their way to the top of Santa’s naughty list.