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Bad Santas, 2014 Edition: A Ho-Ho-Holiday Lineup

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By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on December 23, 2014 1:14 PM

We made a list and we checked it twice. It turns out Santa can be a little naughty himself from time to time.

From Santas accused of taking gifts rather than giving them, to a Scottish Santa who eschewed reindeer in favor of riding atop the Duke of Wellington statute in Glasgow's Royal Exchange Square, this year has had no shortage of Santas behaving badly.

Here are five of 2014's most notorious bad Santas:

  1. Santa shooting. Detroit police say a man dressed as Santa was involved in a fight with another customer at a gas station when he pulled out a gun and fired several shots, hitting the customer and a passenger in the customer's car, WXYZ-TV reports. He was charged with multiple criminal counts, including attempted murder.
  2. Ho-ho-holdup. A man took advantage of "Santa Con" -- an annual event in which hundreds of people dressed as Santa converge on San Francisco's Union Square -- to rob a nearby bank, the Bay Area's KNTV reports. Police are still looking for the suspect.
  3. Mrs. Claus is no angel, either. A man dressed as Santa and his female companion were both arrested in connection with the robbery of a Mississippi convenience store, reports Jackson's WAPT-TV.
  4. Santa of Wellington. A man dressed as St. Nick climbed atop the famous Duke of Wellington statue in Glasgow, Scotland, reports The Telegraph. He was reportedly arrested and issued a fine after the incident, inspiring the Twitter hashtag #FreeSanta.
  5. Santa House shut down. The annual Santa House in Elwood, Indiana, was shuttered after one of the Santas staffing it turned out to be facing criminal gun charges, reports The Herald Bulletin. Mark Gardner is accused of providing a handgun to his cousin, a convicted felon. Gardner had disclosed his arrest before being hired by the city, and his lawyer told the paper there was no legal reason he could not have continued playing Santa. But a sign posted on the front door of the Santa House broke the news to children that Santa had gone to the North Pole and apparently wouldn't be coming back.

For more of this year's weirdest legal stories that don't involve Santa Claus, check out the Top 10 Legally Weird Stories of 2014.

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