Santa Claus Arrested For Allegedly Assaulting Woman At the Mall
A man playing Santa Claus at the Hanover Mall was arrested over the weekend after he allegedly grabbed an employee’s behind while in his costume.
According to police, Herbert Jones, 62, of Assonet, who works as a Santa Claus at the mall in Hanover, was taken into custody by officers after they were called to Santaland to investigate an indecent assault. When officers arrived, the victim told police that Jones allegedly pinched her buttocks.
Jones was arraigned in court on Monday, and told that he could no longer perform his duties as Santa at the mall.
Police, who called the arrest the “Santa caper” when contacted by Boston, said they responded to the incident around 5:21 p.m. on Saturday, November 23.
When they arrived, the victim—identified as “an adult” by police— told officers that Jones allegedly “reached up and grabbed her” as she passed by him in his chair. “The alleged victim is an adult who is not an individual that was photographed at the Santa Claus display,” police said.
Jones denied the claims, but was arrested by police for indecent assault and battery on a woman over age 14. The clerk magistrate set bail at $1,000. Jones posted bail and was arraigned at the Hingham District Court on Monday.
Jones is employed by Cherry Hill Photos as the Santa Claus at Hanover Mall. The alleged victim was also an employee of the company.
In a statement, the company, based in New Jersey, said they were aware of the allegations and Jones’ subsequent arrest. “A spokesperson for Cherry Hill Photo has informed us that a comprehensive background report had been completed on the individual portraying Santa. The report indicates that he is clear of any prior arrests or convictions. The investigation is ongoing,” the statement said.