The cartoon Grinch might be filled with holiday cheer compared to this man. NBC station WFLA reported in Cape Coral, Florida, a man went to the city’s Festival of Lights event over the weekend and started screaming that Santa Claus wasn’t real at children waiting in line to see St. Nick.
A video taken on a bystander’s cell phone shows the man holding a large sign and telling kids that parents are lying to them about Santa Claus.
The man did this for hours, tormenting children and even making many of them cry. WFLA said Cape Coral police officers were present at the event but were powerless to do anything because the man’s speech was protected under the First Amendment. Police said if the man was using a megaphone or creating a riot, they would be allowed to intervene, but just speaking in a public place was not against the law, no matter how awful his actions.
But this didn’t stop others from commenting on this cruel lunacy.
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) December 5, 2018
“I feel sorry for that individual. He must have a very sad life,” onlooker Cindy Menkes told WFLA. “I think it’s a shame our children are faced with so many difficult things in this world that the magic of this time of year is taken away from them.”
Some said it was heartbreaking for a man to put that much effort into hurting kids’ feelings. One woman said that thankfully her daughter was too excited to meet Santa to even notice the man. Others thought he might have mental problems.
What could possibly possess someone to do something so mean to children during the most magical time of the year for them?
This Grinch might not have stolen Christmas, but he certainly has made Santa’s naughty list.