After being denied a free ride on the Ride the Ducks tour Saturday, a drunken man dressed as Santa ripped down Christmas lights and tried to flee before he was detained by mall security and police.
Just after 6:30 pm, employees of the Ride the Ducks tour were unloading passengers from an amphibious duckcraft near 4th Ave and Pine Street when the man in a Santa suit climbed aboard.
Duckboat conductors smelled booze on the man and asked if he had a ticket. The man did not, but said he “had ID” and asked if he could ride on the “next trip.”
Ride the Ducks employees ordered Santa off their skiff, but the red-suited man refused.
Suddenly, the man ran off the duckmobile and began scaling its side, ripping down a string of Christmas lights in the process. Santa then ran off, but was detained by Westlake Mall security as Ride the Ducks employees flagged down officers walking a foot patrol nearby.
Police quickly confirmed that the suspect is not in fact the real Santa, and asked him to explain himself.
The man said he hadn’t mean to rip down the Duckboat’s Christmas lights, and said he’d accidentally pulled them down after slipping on wet pavement.
Officers documented the incident, provided everyone involved with case information, and added the not-Santa’s name to the Naughty List before releasing him from the scene.