A Father Christmas was forced to leave a town’s festive tree lights switch-on party after being pounced on by a gang of teenage yobs on bicycles.
They pulled the man’s costume beard and ripped off his glasses as they cycled past him while he was taking a break from greeting children.
The glasses were broken and because the shaken Santa, who has not been named, was unable to see without them, he had to leave the event at Longton near Stoke-on-Trent early, before some children were able to meet him.
The man did not make a complaint, but Staffordshire Police will ask him if he wants to take the matter further.

Determined volunteers behind the night – The Longton Events Board – say the actions of the ‘undesirables’ will not put them off staging future events.

Vice-chairman Richard Cresswell, of local ironmongers RD Cresswell & Co and of the Longton Chamber of Trade, claimed: ‘They pulled at his beard and his glasses.
‘There was an hour of the evening left but the gentleman doesn’t want to take the matter further and he and his wife just want to put the whole incident behind them. They don’t want to talk about it.

‘Something like this won’t put us off. It’s regrettable, because there were still plenty of families around. I just hope it doesn’t put them off coming to Longton.’
Police said the Father Christmas was not in his grotto but was walking down the street when the teenagers rode past.

The glasses were torn off his face and broke, prompting the Father Christmas to leave to get them fixed as he could not see.

Parent Susanne Ruddy, 37, who did not witness the incident, said later: ‘It is disgraceful that children should act this way.
‘Sometimes I wonder just how bad this country gets when even a Father Christmas is left terrified and abused. If I was here I’d have given them a piece of my mind.’

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