Friday, December 4, 2009

Elf Man Attempts to Extort Gifts From Mall Santa in Georgia

'Elf' jailed over dynamite hoax on mall Santa

Dec 03 2009
Morrow, GA

(AP Photo/Clayton County Sherriffs Office)

This undated photo provided by the Clayton County Sheriff's Office shows William C. Caldwell III. Police in Morrow, Ga. say Caldwell was dressed in an elf suit Wednesday evening, Dec. 2, 2009 as he waited in line to have his picture taken with Santa Claus at Southlake Mall in suburban Atlanta. When Caldwell reached the front of the line, he told Santa he had dynamite in his bag. Santa called mall security and Caldwell was arrested.

Police say Southlake Mall in suburban Atlanta was evacuated but no explosives were found.

Morrow police arrested the 45-year-old William C. Caldwell III, who was being held without bond Thursday in the Clayton County jail. He was not part of the mall's Christmas staff.

Caldwell faces several charges, including having hoax devices and making terroristic threats. Additionally, the threatened Santa said Caldwell wasn't getting any presents from Santa this year. "As far as I'm concerned he's been a very bad boy and doesn't deserve any presents," said the fake Santa. A small boy within earshot burst into tears and began wailing, "mama, mama, the little elf isn't going to have any presents under the tree." A burly security guard slapped duct tape over the kid's mouth and he and his mom were ushered out of the mall, the woman protesting but getting a strip of duct tape sealing her mouth, too.

Caldwell faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted under the Patriot Act. He will forfeit his passport and will not be allowed to use the Atlanta subway if he is ever released from prison, which is extremely unlikely. "Little guy like that, those big, killer cons will use him as a punching bag and turn him into mince meat in six months," said an assistant warden, Isaac Dedman, who asked not be identified because he was unauthorized to speak. Best of luck, Warden Dedman. You're going to need it.


Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

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