London - An angry Santa Claus left parents furious after he allegedly tore off his beard and swore in front of dozens of children.
He is said to have lost his cool after a smoke machine at a children’s "rave" taking place in the same building set off the fire alarm.
Shocked father Adam Gaynor compared the Father Christmas to the Bad Santa character in the hit films starring Billy Bob Thornton. He said he burst into the room, "ripped his hat and beard off in front of 50-odd kids" and shouted: "Get the f*** out."
He told the Father Christmas on social media: "You should be ashamed of yourself acting like that in front of children" and added: "There is no way he should be allowed near a child."
Organisers of the Father Christmas Grotto experience at the Corn Exchange in St Ives, Cambrigeshire, have now apologised for "any offence or distress caused to parents and children".
Pictures posted on social media appear to show the Santa standing outside the venue, with his beard lying on the pavement.
Parent Helen Brook said: "Bad language is never called for. He continued his unfortunate choice of words while we were waiting outside."
Stuart Wilkin, a DJ at the rave event who witnessed the chaos, said: "The fire alarm did go off. The organisers came straight over and requested the music turned off – it instantly was.
But Mr Gaynor, 37, from St Ives, who was at the event with his three-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter, retorted: "I’m guessing the people defending him weren’t at the event and didn’t see how irate and abusive he was and also how upset some the children were."
He said there were more than 50 children present at the time, ranging from toddlers to teenagers. He added: ‘They may not be so quick to jump to his defence if they had witnessed his actions.’
A spokesperson for Festival Events St Ives, which organised the grotto, said: "During a family rave event in the Corn Exchange the fire alarms were activated by smoke in the Charter Hall.
"Santa was upstairs in his grotto... and immediately assisted in the evacuation of the building. We wish to apologise for any offence or distress caused to parents and children by the attempts to ensure all visitors and staff had exited the building and were safe."Daily Mail