[Ed. – Hey, where’s their Christmas spirit? Come to think of it, where’s his?]
Deputies in a central Florida county cleared a park before the arrival of Robert Bruce Kendel.
The image of Santa Claus being led off in handcuffs would have been upsetting enough.
But the main reason officers from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office cleared the park on Tuesday is that they had received an anonymous tip that Kendel, 48, was playing Santa Claus without disclosing his employment as a Santa, according to ABC’s WFTV 9.
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Kendel is a registered sex offender, having been convicted in 1993 of sexual battery on a child 12 or younger, according to Florida Department of Law Enforcement records.
After receiving the tip on Nov. 21, Orange County Sgt. Rich Mankewich contacted Kendel via Kendel’s Craigslist ad in which he sold his professional services as “Santa Bob.” The deputy offered him $80 to portray Santa at a “corporate event” at Rose Place Park.
When Kendel arrived in full Santa regalia he was arrested and charged with violating the terms of his sex offender registry, according to Orange County Jail records.