Ethan A. Huff
The annual Santa Claus parade in Kingston, Ontario, does not normally feature any type of Grinch character. But the Canadian town’s longtime tradition was obstructed by one this year, who decided to go around telling all the young children in attendance that Santa Claus is not real. According to the Toronto Star, the 24-year-old man, who has not been publicly named, was arrested by police for spilling the beans in a disturbing manner, and was also charged with public intoxication and a probation violation.
The parade, which took place this year on November 17, is typically a joyous occasion marked by festive lights, floats, and of course an appearance by Santa Claus himself. But things turned sour when an unidentified man began roaming Princess Street around 6:00 pm, telling all the children that the bearded icon is a fraud. Reports indicate that the man had also slicked his hair back with gel into the shape of devil horns, which disturbed quite a few people in attendance.
After a parade attendee called the police out of concern, officers arrived on the scene and apprehended the man, who was immediately charged with causing a disturbance. It turned out that the man had also been drinking and was in violation of his probation, two additional charges which were tacked onto the arrest. At the end of the day, the man was taken to jail, where he attended a bail hearing the following day and was released on the condition that he abstain from alcohol.
“It was pretty despicable that someone, during this time of the year, would tell kids Santa isn’t real — which of course we would argue,” said Constable Steve Coopman from the Kingston Police Force to reporters about the incident. “He was disturbing everyone there on the thoroughfare, he was disturbing the families, obviously disturbing the children.”
Coopman’s department also issued a public “tweet” from its official Twitter account chastising the man, who they quickly dubbed the “intoxicated Grinch,” for breaking the hearts of children at the parade. Despite the disturbance, the parade was reportedly still a success, with more people in attendance than in many previous years, according to police.
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