Drunk Santa scares kids while looking for his reindeer

By: Mary Rinzel Email
By: Mary Rinzel Email

A drunken Santa Claus prompts a mom to call 911 after he stumbles into her yard apparently looking for his reindeer and scaring her kids.

Officers ticketed 55-year-old Thomas Arnold of Sparta for having an open beer in a car. The man driving that car, 47-year-old Kevin Arnold, was arrested for OWI.

But, the kids say they knew right away this Santa was a hoax.

"He smelled like alcohol. So I knew it wasn't the real Santa because Santa doesn't drink alcohol," says 9-year-old Katie Dockerty.

Katie says the Santa that ended up in her lawn was loud and had really dirty hands. She says he tried to put his hat on her little sister. Six-year-old Zoe describes him in one word: “Drunk."

"He was yelling at them 'have you seen my reindeer? If you see my reindeer, call me right away,’" says Tina Reinart, the girls’ mom.

Reinart called the police instead.

"He thought he was spreading good cheer and in some lights he may have been,” says Sparta Police Chief Mike Kass with a little chuckle. “I don't think Mr. Arnold had any ill intent; I believe his level of intoxication probably impaired his judgment."

Chief Kass says Arnold was on his way home from a party. He says now-a-days parents have to be careful with everyone: That includes Santa.

"This time of year everyone wants to see Santa Claus, but nobody wants to see an intoxicated Santa Claus,” Kass says. “I hope the lesson learned is don't overindulge and only approach those children you know."

"I didn't really want him by me because I was really scared," Katie tells us.

But, for one little girl and her gang of friends, one bad Santa isn't enough to ruin the season.

"It's a nice holiday to spend on Christmas,” Katie says. “Santa gives you candy canes. It's nice.”

The kids' dad was outside with them when Santa came into the yard Sunday afternoon. They all agree it's one of the strangest things they've seen.


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  • by Hank Location: Strum on Dec 17, 2009 at 08:13 PM
    You people are brainwashed when it comes to pedophils. Now ever drunk is one too? He wasn't a good example for the children, but that is a far cry from child abuse. Get a grip. And why call the cops? Just shew him out of the yard. People won't take care of anything themselves anymore.
  • by anonymous Location: eau claire on Dec 17, 2009 at 07:02 PM
    To me in Thorp, pedophiles tend to be playful around children also. Someone high as a kite and experiencing hallucinations while murdering someone can also think it's just a game laughing through the whole ordeal. I suppose you don't think they would hurt anyone either as long as they're dressed up as Santa. Quit making excuses. The guy's a drunk with little inhibitions and control over his actions which results in inflicting harm, whether physcial or emotional, on others.
  • by sickened by this on Dec 17, 2009 at 05:09 PM
    just messing around? playing with them? having some fun? I'd have decked him and had my husband call the cops before I killed the drunken idiot!!! NEVER-NEVER-NEVER- ACCEPTABLE TO EXPOSE CHILDREN TO DRUNKS AND SHATTER THEIR CHILDHOOD DREAMS OF SANTA!!!!!!!!!! no matter how good of a person you are or how innocent your intentions were! you jerks that think this is funny must not have little kids or grandkids that you love
  • by Big Jer Location: CF on Dec 17, 2009 at 12:27 PM
    Do we really need to call police over a drunk guy in a santa suit? Seriously, just tell him to get out of your yard. People are too quick to call the police. The guy was just messin around.
  • by ray young Location: eau claire on Dec 17, 2009 at 10:17 AM
    come on people, don,t you think santa gets a little stressed this time of the year? heck, with all the letters,trying to keep his elves in check, mrs. santa breathing down his back. i bet he was just kickn back watching his favorite team the packers win, had a couple to many and forgot where he parked his sled. it could happen to any one of us this time of year....merry christmas to all !!!
  • by me Location: Thorp on Dec 16, 2009 at 06:50 PM
    Santa had to much to drink and drove drunk, bad choice. Do I think he would have hurt the childrern? No way, he was playful trying to put his hat on one of the children. I don't believe that he hollered at the children, "where are my reindeer?" What he did was holler out of drunkeness. The mother of these children is just tying to make a bigger story out of this. Santa next time find someone else to drive before you kill yourself or someone else. Merry Christmas To All.
  • by anonymous Location: eau claire on Dec 16, 2009 at 03:52 PM
    Asa - What Jessi stated was irrelevant to the article. This article is NOT about his donations. The article is about his selfish behavior. If he'd like to be in the news for his good behavior, then he should lay off the alcohol. No pity from me which is exactly what Jessi implies for this man. Also, I hardly consider claiming this drunk to be a "good person" to be fact. Good people don't run around drunk and ruining a bunch of little kids' Christmas. That, Asa, is a fact. So, again, check your priorities. Don't justify or enable such behavior by sugar-coating it with irrelevant "good deeds."
  • by Asa Location: Green Bay on Dec 16, 2009 at 09:29 AM
    anonymous: Jessi was simply stating a fact that was not mentioned in the article--not implying that it negates or justifies his actions.
  • by anonymous Location: eau claire on Dec 15, 2009 at 03:18 PM
    Jessi - There was a time in his life when Hitler was a good person too. Should we just write off everything he did too? Maybe YOU should check your priorities during the holidays rather than justifying and enabling poor behavior so that little kids can actually enjoy the holidays rather than being violated by a selfish drunk.
  • by Avery Location: Fall Creek on Dec 15, 2009 at 02:00 PM
    Nothing wrong with having a little of Santa's cough medicine!
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