Society

Sober SantaCon? NYPD Lieutenant Warns Bar Owners Not To Serve Santas

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

New York City Police Lt. John Cocchi told bar owners not to serve Santas attending this year’s SantaCon, the day-long bar crawl in which thousands of people dressed as Santa Claus descend upon New York City.

“Having thousands of intoxicated partygoers roam the streets urinating, littering, vomiting and vandalizing will not be tolerated in our neighborhood,” Cocchi wrote in a letter sent to 30 bars and nightclubs in Midtown Manhattan and Hell’s Kitchen.

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“The negative impact that this event will bring to your community will far outweigh the short-term benefit to your establishment,” he said.

Billed as a charity fundraiser, the event announces the bar map as the revelry begins via social media.

The SantaCon website says, “Santa respects the city. Santa doesn’t piss on the streets, start fights, block streets, climb on cars, or deface property.”

But Cocchi’s precinct saw a variety of public urination and vomiting last year.

“What do you tell a 5-year-old when they see a Santa passed out on the street, or carried by his buddies, or vomiting or defecating in front of the house?” Bob Miner, the co-chair of the HK 50-51 Block Association, told the Daily News. “We all grow up, but there’s no reason kids have to learn the truth about Santa that way.”

Original members of SantaCon, which will be held on Dec. 14 this year, said the event has turned into something frightening. One woman said the NYPD is “terrified.”

“What are you going to do with 50,000 unruly people? There aren’t enough paddy wagons,” she told 1010 WINS.

She also said it was a little over the top.

“The huge percentage of people participating in this are just doing it to dress up like Santa and have a fun day,” she added.

Sources: CBS New York, New York Daily News