12 Mall Santa Scandals That Definitely Landed These Guys On The Naughty List

Sure, Bad Santa is a great movie, but there couldn't actually be a mall Santa that bad in real life, could there? Actually, real-world mall Santa scandals are occasionally just as absurd as anything Willie, Marcus, and Thurman Merman got into. From the grumpy to the cruel to the violent, there are more crimes committed by Santa every year than you might think. Some of these Santa crimes are even horrifying. They might make you think twice before bringing your kid to sit on Santa's lap. 

The holiday season is known for warmth and joy, and Christmas is a time that kids look forward to all year. Santa is usually thought of as a jolly figure, who knows whether you've been naughty or nice. These bad Santas did not get the memo and are definitely on the naughty list. If you're already tired of the holiday cheer and are ready to experience some Santas behaving badly, consider this list of crimes committed by Santa a gift from someone who gets it. 

Photo: Triptych Pictures

  • The Mall Santa Charged With Groping A Teen Elf

    The Mall Santa Charged With Groping A Teen Elf
    Photo: Hannover Police Department

    In 2013, Massachusetts mall Santa Herbert Jones was banned from Hanover Mall and got into some legal trouble after getting wildly inappropriate with an 18-year-old girl working as an elf with him at the festive photo booth for kids. Police say the woman called them to report him for touching her butt and making crude comments to her.  

    The 62-year-old claimed it wasn't true and was released on a $1,000 bond after pleading not guilty to indecent assault and battery. Jones was still barred from Hanover Mall and was unable to play Santa anywhere pending the outcome of his case.

  • The Canadian Mall Santa With Some Strong Hockey Opinions

    In 2012, a Toronto mall Santa traumatized the very first child waiting in line to meet him. After noticing the child sporting a shirt for the Canadian hockey team, The Maple Leafs, he had some choice words. This mall Santa took one look at the little boy and said, "Oh, you're wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs tuque, you shouldn't be wearing that, they suck." 

    The boy cried, and the mall Santa was later fired

  • The Mall Santa That Talked About The Sandy Hook Massacre With Children

    Parents Wendy and Steve Kennett were in for a shock when they took their three young children to see Santa at Notcutts garden center in the UK in 2012. When the siblings told the mall Santa that they had been good this year, he replied, “Well, there are bad people in the world, and bad things happen like what happened to those children in America.” 

    The Santa then went on to describe what sounded a lot like the tragedy at Sandy Hook, without actually naming it. As if this wasn't bad enough, the man asked that the two little girls leave so he could have a word with their brother. Once they did, he whispered in the little boy's ear that Santa wasn't real, and the boy ran away in tears. The Kennetts were refunded, and the bad Santa was fired. 

  • Drunk Santa

    In 2011, a Canadian mall Santa was arrested after showing up to take pictures with kids clearly drunk. He showed up to work in the morning stumbling and unable to keep his words straight, his ho-ho-hos filling parents with apprehension rather than helping to spread holiday cheer. A man who worked in a kiosk near Santa's chair said this wasn't the first time the Santa had come to work drunk. "You could see he was clearly intoxicated, but no one was bold enough to say anything, and then finally someone had to call security and do something about it because it was looking really bad."

    Fortunately, the man was removed and replaced before he came into contact with kids, only to be arrested outside the mall for public intoxication. 

  • The Mall Santa That Tried To Ruin Christmas For A Child

    In 2014, 9-year-old Sophie Robinson went to a shopping center in the UK, only for the Santa there to tell her that she was too old to visit and she shouldn't have come at all. Sophie left in tears, and the manager of the shopping center tried to gloss the whole thing over by handing her mom a £20 gift card at first, only for news of this cruel Santa to spread. Soon after, Sophie was invited back for a better Santa experience with a lot more Christmas magic. The shopping center also issued an official apology.  

  • The Mall Santa Arrested For Child Pornography

    The Mall Santa Arrested For Child Pornography
    Photo: Raleigh-Wake City County Bureau of Identification

    In 2015, a Raleigh, NC, mall Santa was arrested for possession child pornography. 63-year-old Leander Dewey Jones was arrested after he took his computer in to get fixed and the people working at the shop found pornographic images of kids younger than 10 saved on it.  

    Jones was a member of the Triangle Santa Buddies, an organization that provides Santa appearances in the area. He also worked as a children's entertainer and appeared as a pirate and magician at kids' birthday parties. A small pen camera was even found hidden in the bathroom of his home.