Bad Santa strikes in a Hanover Mall. Herbert Jones, who played Santa Claus at a mall in Massachusetts, was arrested and charged for allegedly groping a woman portraying an elf photographer. It seems as if Bad Santa won’t deliver gifts this Christmas Eve; he’ll be in court pleading for the gift of freedom.
Bad Santa plead not guilty to charges of indecent assault and battery. He was released on $1,000 bail on Monday and ordered by the judge not to return to the Hanover Mall. The 62-year-old Jones has also been barred from playing Santa Claus anywhere pending the case’s outcome.
Ironically, he returns to court to face these charges on Christmas Eve.
Reportedly Jones pinched the 18-year-old elf photographer on her buttocks last Saturday. The young lady told law enforcement that she had walked by Santa, who was seated in his chair; he reached up and pinched her in the buttocks.
The young woman broke down crying while reporting the alleged groping to the police. She told the police after it happened she took a break and then reported it to her manager.
After reporting the incident to the manager she was urged to meet with Bad Santa concerning the ordeal. She reluctantly obliged and during the meeting Jones denied it emphatically yelling he never would have done something like that.
The 18-year-old said that prior to the pinching incident Santa told her that he wished he was younger and that she was a little older.
A female co-worker said she saw Jones reach upward in the area of the elf’s behind but wasn’t sure contact was actually made.
When Bad Santa was questioned by the police he, again, denied touching her. According to Jones, he was sitting in his Santa chair when she walked by and brushed his hand with her buttocks. He said he pulled his hand away quickly in an attempt to avoid any contact.
Jones claimed that the comment he made about being younger simply meant if he was young again he would make different life choices; and that’s all he meant.
This is somewhat reminiscent of the movie Bad Santa. In this R-rated comedy Willie T. Stokes, played by Billy Bob Thornton, is a professional con man. He takes on the roll as Santa Claus in a different mall every year. In the movie Santa’s modus operandi is to rob the mall on Christmas Eve; not just to fondle women. He wants an inside track to access to the security system so he can clean out the safe and be off to enjoy his holiday.
Bad Santa was a character who had a bad rap in the movie; he is an alcoholic who is constantly doing something unethical. He got caught having sex in a mall dressing room, cursing at the children and showing up to work late and intoxicated. He meets a bartender named Sue and the two of them eventually hookup for a happily ever after. In the movie, which was fictional, Santa was arrested and sentenced to time in jail; Jones is hoping this won’t be his fate.
Now Jones, of course, has not gone that far but generally once you’re labeled Bad Santa there’s no coming back.
Jones was hired to play Santa Claus at a mall in Hanover, Massachusetts and in an ironic twist of events he is now being called Bad Santa after being arrested and restricted from the Hanover Mall.
Police say the young woman called to report Jones on Saturday. The two of them were working at a Santa photo booth during the holiday season. Bad Santa, who really does have a full and bushy white beard, was arrested and charged with indecent assault and battery. He is out on $1,000 bail and now faces possible jail time.
It looks like Santa won’t be delivering gifts on Christmas Eve; instead he’ll be in court praying for the gift of freedom.
Reportedly, the elf quit her job on the spot. Neither was employed by the Hanover Mall; they worked for a company named Cherry Hill Photos.
Herbert Jones has denied all allegations and awaits his day in court.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)