Santas go on rampage in New Zealand
Updated: 2005-12-18 11:27
A group of 40 people dressed
in Santa Claus costumes, many of them drunk, rampaged through New Zealand's
largest city, robbing stores and assaulting security guards, police said Sunday.
The rampage, dubbed "Santarchy" by local newspapers, began early Saturday
afternoon when the men, wearing ill-fitting Santa costumes, threw beer bottles
and urinated on cars from an Auckland overpass, said Auckland Central Police
spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty.
She said the men then rushed through a central city park, overturning garbage
containers, throwing bottles at passing cars and spraying graffiti on buildings.
One man climbed the mooring line of a cruise ship before being ordered down
by the captain. Other Santas, objecting when the man was arrested, attacked
security staff, Hegarty said.
The remaining Santas entered a downtown convenience store and carried off
beer and soft drinks.
"They came in, said 'Merry Christmas' and then helped themselves," store
owner Changa Manakynda said.
Alex Dyer, a spokesman for the group, said Santarchy was a worldwide movement
designed to protest the commercialization of Christmas.
Three people were arrested and charged with drunkenness and disorderly