Drunk thugs jump threaten to punch Santa in front of shocked families at parade

A gang of drug thugs climbed onto the sleigh of Santa Claus and threatened to punch him during a Christmas parade.

The brutes threatened Father Christmas and attacked a female volunteer, ripping a badge from her chest, as shocked families watched.

The incident occurred on Monday evening at around 7 pm on the streets of Sittingbourne, Kent.

The rowdy group reportedly snuck up on the sleigh and waited for the festive parade to stop at traffic lights before they pounced, shouting “hello Santa”.

Santa is usually greeted by hoards of children as the sleigh drives past houses and shops but because of the attack, organisers may cancel all other Santa planned visits in the town.

Danielle Hoynes, who chairs the Sittingbourne Christmas Lights committee, said a gang of "very unpleasant drunks" had been "stalking" the sleigh after the first assault.

She said: "Halfway round the course one of them jumped on the sleigh and threatened to punch Santa as well as ripping off the permit badge pinned to the chest of one of our female volunteers.

"Then later on in the round two of the three people were hiding behind a van which was round a corner.

"They stepped out as we passed and shouted 'hello Santa'. I'm pretty sure they were following the route from our online post as it's a very quiet road and not an obvious part of the route if you didn't know it.

"We had to cancel the rest of the round, disappointing a lot of children, because of the harassment."

She said the incident was reported to police and urged anyone with footage to come forward.

Ms Hoynes added: "We will have to review whether it is safe to continue the rounds over the next couple of weeks and to see what can be done differently to avoid people like this ruining it for all the town's children.

"Luckily no one was injured, just shaken. We are hoping to continue the rounds with extra safety measures in place."

The attack was immediately greeted with outrage on social media.

One woman blasted: "So disgusting that stupid yobs can destroy Christmas in this way for kids.

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"Good people are trying to bring some Christmas magic to the streets and idiots do that. Fingers crossed Santa can carry on making his way round Sittingbourne."

Another raged: "Such a shame that people in our town ruin the fun for everyone else. Not only will there be disappointed families but the funds will be less for next year's lights. I'm so sorry this happened and hope you're all OK."

Kent Police confirmed officers are investigating an alleged assault and no arrests have been made.

A spokesman for the force said: "Kent Police is investigating a report that a man and a woman were assaulted by an unknown man in East Street, Sittingbourne, at around 7pm on Monday, December 6, 2021.

"No serious injuries were reported and enquiries to establish the full circumstances remain ongoing."

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