Australia: Man dressed as Santa arrested in Melbourne
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With time running out before the big day you would think Father Christmas would be at home wrapping the final presents and making sure his sleigh is ready. But instead, he got himself in a spot of trouble and was pepper-sprayed by police for behaving erratically outside a store.
The strange scene unfolded at a hardware store in the suburb of Frankston, in Melbourne, Australia, yesterday when Bunnings staff asked the man to leave.
But instead of being jolly and agreeing to do so, he refused to leave so police were called.
Metro reports that the Santa-suit wearing man forced to wrestle him to the ground and pepper-spray him.
Victoria Police said in a statement: “Officers were forced to escort the man off the premises but he resisted officers and assaulted them.”
Videos shared on TikTok and Twitter showed the man screaming as police officers pinned him to the ground outside the store.
A member of Bunnings staff then awkwardly throws the Santa hat near to the man while lowering the shutters down.
The Father Christmas collapsed and was treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital at around 1.40pm.
A police spokesperson added: “The man fell unconscious and was taken to hospital for treatment.”
He has since been released from hospital.
An investigation is ongoing. Bunnings has confirmed that the man was not an employee.
7 News in Australia has uncovered a statement on Facebook from someone who claims to be the arrested Father Christmas.
The statement said: “If anyone saw Channel 9 News this evening, don’t believe it.
“Bunnings denied Santa goods and services because he is Santa and called 000 to have him removed forcibly before he could finish his shopping.”
This is not the first time that a Father Christmas has got themselves in a spot of bother during this festive season.
Two weeks ago Mick Worrall was given a ticket for “driving his sleigh” in a pedestrian zone in Worcester city centre as he handed out gifts.
But instead of coughing up any cash, the great-grandfather told the traffic warden to ‘post it to the North Pole’.
And, undeterred by what happened outside the city’s Guildhall in the High Street, he vowed to return to the city centre to continue spreading festive cheer.
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Mr Worrall said: “I won’t let the children down. I get pleasure from putting smiles on the faces of the children.
“I’m a bit disappointed – but it’s not going to stop me. I’ve been doing it for years.
“I refused to take the ticket. I told the warden ‘send it to me in the post to my address’. He said ‘where’s that?’ I said ‘the North Pole’.”
He added: “I was not driving the decorated trike around the streets. I merely crawled along at under 2mph to my parking spot before handing out festive gifts.
“I’ve done it every year and never had any problems. Last year a policeman even posed with me for pictures.
“Maybe the traffic warden was having a bad day or just being Scrooge but it was petty to say the least.”
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