Santa was knocked down by seven or eight youths wielding a shopping cart. He said the boys were calling him a "fraud and a fake," which of course is true but doesn't justify anti-Santa violence. But he jumped up, grabbed a 5-foot artificial Christmas tree that was handy and fought back. "My bag made quite a good shield," Santa said. "I waved and pointed the tree to keep them at bay." He continued, "If it had happened on the street I might have . . . given them a few choice words, but you can't do that dressed as Santa."
The mall manager said Santa had "saved the spirit of Christmas," or the Christmas shopping season, anyway. "It seems to have been more festive high jinks than malice, but Santa saw them off all the same."