Bad Santa pepper-sprayed and wrestled to floor by cops after threatening staff

Bemused shoppers watched on as a badly behaved Father Christmas caused so much chaos in a hardware store that cops were forced to wrestle him to the ground and pepper-spray him.

The unnamed bloke, dressed up as Santa Claus with the iconic red jacket and boots, had been asked to leave the shop in Australia because he had been behaving erratically.

But he didn’t take kindly to their request and began to get aggressive, eventually assaulting police officers who turned up to help.

READ MORE: Doctors beg shops to stop fat shaming Santa and instead make him 'thin and healthy'

A bizarre video captured the moment the man was wrestled to the floor by heroic officers, who had to bring out pepper spray to keep the situation under control.

Reports on the odd incident, that took place in the south Melbourne suburb of Frankston in the early afternoon on Thursday (December 22), said the man collapsed during the confrontation and had to be raced to hospital.

A Victoria Police statement confirmed: “Officers were forced to escort the man off the premises but he resisted officers and assaulted them.

“The man fell unconscious and was taken to hospital for treatment.”

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Bunnings, the household hardware chain where the saga unfolded, praised its Frankston staff for handling the situation in a “professional manner” and confirmed the rogue Saint Nicholas did not work at their shop.

Baffled passersby took to social media to share what they had seen, with one describing the perpetrator as “threatening” and “in his 60s”.

Another simply wrote: "Santa getting arrested at Frankston Bunnings today" alongside a photo of the sorry-looking Father Christmas.

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