Group of Santas deny unruly behavior at mall
MIAMI TWP., Montgomery County — A group of adults dressed as Santa Claus on Saturday evening at the Dayton Mall insist they were not causing a disturbance.
But law enforcement and mall officials say complaints from retail tenants and shoppers warranted police intervention.
Police arrested Jacqueline S. Sallee, 41, of Dayton, and Susan Rudolph, 46, of Washington Twp., after responding to a call about a disturbance by a large group dressed as Santa.
Police said some in the group were intoxicated and some handed out or showed shoppers adult-oriented materials.
“Mall security called us to help them deal with an unruly group,” said Miami Twp. Deputy Police Chief Maj. John DiPietro.
Michael Denius and Lynn McAleer, participants Saturday in an annual event known as Santarchy Dayton, said they were well-received at the mall. McAleer said the group, which arrived at the mall by bus, handed out candy only. Songs with offcolor lyrics were sung on the bus, but not in public, as has been suggested, she said.
“We gave candy canes and chocolate bars, all wrapped, to kids, and candy coal to the adults,” she said. The Santa-dressed group, which ranged in age from late 20s to late 60s, visited sports bars prior to arriving at the mall, but “everyone paced themselves, because we knew it was going to be a long night,” McAleer said.
Denius said the “rough” arrest of two of the women in his group was “over the top.”
Mall General Manager Dave Duebber said the group did not have permission to be in the mall.
“We were getting all kinds of complaints from customers and tenants saying that some of the group were acting offensive,” Duebber said.
Police charged both women with criminal trespassing, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Sallee, who allegedly struck an officer, was charged also with assault.