Santa Claus arrested at coronavirus demo in Germany
Santa Claus might struggle to make his deliveries on time this year, after getting involved with the German police at an anti-COVID measures protest this week.
Man dressed as Santa Claus arrested at COVID protest
Police arrested a man dressed as Santa Claus at the Stralsund Christmas market, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, on Monday. He was apparently taking part in an unregistered demonstration against coronavirus restrictions in Germany.
In a video of the arrest - which has since gone viral on social media - the man can be seen wearing the classic trappings of the world’s favourite yuletide visitor, along with a more unusual accessory: a sign that reads “2G - without me”. Together with approximately 65 other people, he was protesting against restrictions and the possibility of vaccines against coronavirus becoming compulsory for the wider public.
Santa going on Germany’s naughty list
At first, it was suggested on social media (including in the caption above) that the man was arrested for not wearing a mask, but Stralsund police later clarified that man was questioned by officers in connection with the protest, which had not been registered beforehand with authorities, as required by law in Germany.
When asked for his personal details, the man responded: “I am Santa Claus.” As police spokesperson Jennifer Fischer explained, “He refused to give his name and therefore had to be accompanied to the patrol car to determine his identity.”
Santa Claus was subsequently found to have a rap sheet longer than the average naughty kid on his list - the 47-year-old was apparently “already several times suspected of having committed crimes against the Assembly Act with demonstrations.” Once his identity had been confirmed, he was released, roughly an hour later.
In a statement, the Stralsund Christmas market was anxious to make clear that the man in question was not the market’s official Santa Claus - just an interloper very displeased about coronavirus restrictions.