SC "Santa" charged with kidnapping

This is a discussion on SC "Santa" charged with kidnapping within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Wow...scary situation. S.C. 'santa' charged with kidnapping girl By KATRINA A. GOGGINS, Associated Press Writer Mon Dec 18, 10:19 PM ET COLUMBIA, S.C. - A ...

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Thread: SC "Santa" charged with kidnapping

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array raysheen's Avatar
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    SC "Santa" charged with kidnapping

    Wow...scary situation.


    S.C. 'santa' charged with kidnapping girl By KATRINA A.
    GOGGINS, Associated Press Writer
    Mon Dec 18, 10:19 PM ET


    COLUMBIA, S.C. - A man dressed as Santa Claus lured an 8-year-old girl onto his motorcycle and drove away, and her father chased him until he pulled over and gave her back, authorities said. The man, John Michael Barton, 55, was charged with kidnapping, police said. He was being held in jail Monday night on $100,000 bond.

    The girl, of Augusta, Ga., and her family stopped at a convenience store off Interstate 20 on Sunday night when they noticed Barton, dressed in a Santa Claus suit, refueling his motorcycle, police said.

    Parents told police that Barton asked the children to come over and look at a stuffed Rudolph he had in his sidecar. Then, parents saw Barton driving away with their 8-year-old girl, authorities said.

    The girl's father followed Barton, reaching speeds up to 80 mph and flashing his headlights repeatedly, police said. Barton eventually stopped at a parking lot and the father picked up the girl, who was not injured.

    Barton was arrested later Sunday when police found him hiding in a utility room at a nearby bar, authorities said.

    Barton had been portraying Santa Claus for several weeks and had given rides to other children in the area and had posed for photographs with children by his motorcycle, Sheriff James Metts said in a release.

    Barton did not have an attorney at a bond hearing on Monday, said Lexington County sheriff's spokesman John Allard. A call to the Lexington County public defender's office was not immediately returned.

    A charge of kidnapping carries a maximum sentence of 30 years.



    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061219/...aus_kidnapping
    Last edited by raysheen; December 19th, 2006 at 02:04 PM.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array raysheen's Avatar
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    Followup story:

    'Santa' sorry taking off with girl on motorcycle

    Ishmael Tate
    McClatchy Newspapers
    Dec. 19, 2006 11:07 AM


    COLUMBIA, S.C. - A man charged with kidnapping an 8-year-old girl said he was in "Santa mode" and apologized for his behavior at a Monday afternoon bail hearing.

    Portly, with blue eyes, white hair and a full white beard, John Michael Barton, 55, was wearing a Santa suit when he took off on his Triumph motorcycle from a gas station Sunday night with the 8-year-old girl, police said. The girl was in the sidecar - next to a large Rudolph toy.

    On Monday, Barton, of Batesburg-Leesville, told Judge Brian Jeffcoat he was trying to do something non-commercial during the holiday season and have some fun.

    "I'm so very sorry about this whole thing," Barton told the judge during the bail hearing.

    After the hearing, the girl's father, Tripp Morris, said, "I'm not sure what his intentions were. I know he took my daughter without my permission and left."

    Morris, his wife, Venus, and their three daughters, ages 5, 6 and 8, were stopped at a Circle K gas station about 8 p.m. when Barton pulled up. It was the 5-year-old's birthday and the family was in town from Augusta, Ga., visiting family in Florence, S.C.

    Morris said Barton asked the girls to walk over to his motorcycle so they could see the stuffed Rudolph toy.

    Then, Morris said, "I heard the motorcycle engine, and about three seconds later, I heard my wife say, Tripp, go get him! He's got our daughter!' "

    Morris said he hit speeds of 80 mph as he chased Barton in his car. He said he was worried that his daughter wasn't wearing a helmet.

    Morris said she had asked Barton to stop because she was scared.

    The pursuit ended about a mile later in a church parking lot.

    Morris told Barton he wanted his daughter back. He told reporters he could smell alcohol on Barton.

    Barton was arrested at a bar in Richland County about 10 p.m., according to Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts. His red-and-white Santa hat and a glass of wine were sitting on the bar counter and he was found hiding in a utility room.

    Metts said Barton has been playing Santa for friends for several weeks at various locations in Lexington County and, while dressed as Santa, has taken other children - with their parents' permission - for rides on his motorcycle.

    Barton was arrested and charged with driving under the influence in 1998, according to state law enforcement records. He paid a $437 fine.

    Jeffcoat set Barton's bail at $100,000.

  4. #3
    Distinguished Member Array 4my sons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raysheen View Post
    Followup story:

    'Santa' sorry taking off with girl on motorcycle

    Ishmael Tate
    McClatchy Newspapers
    Dec. 19, 2006 11:07 AM


    On Monday, Barton, of Batesburg-Leesville, told Judge Brian Jeffcoat he was trying to do something non-commercial during the holiday season and have some fun.

    Morris said he hit speeds of 80 mph as he chased Barton in his car. He said he was worried that his daughter wasn't wearing a helmet.

    I don't buy that, this Santa needs to go down, he's lucky the father didn't beat him to a bloody pulp when he cought up to him, When you mess with someones kids, that's a PRIMAL instinct, You are palying with fire using a very short match.
    "fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen." [Warren v. District of Columbia,(D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981)]
    If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand

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    Santa Needs A Long Jail Term...No Mercy...

    There is no excuse for his actions. Kidnapping is a serious felony, and the father could have put out his lights...permanently...I probably would have...
    What he really needs is his 'sleigh bells' stapled to a tree stump while he is pushed over backwards...that's gotta' hurt...

    Maybe 'Buba' (his new roommate) will show him where the real South Pole is located...

    OMO...and I don't mean that in a 'bad' way!

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    Member Array PolarBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raysheen View Post
    Morris said he hit speeds of 80 mph as he chased Barton in his car...

    The pursuit ended about a mile later in a church parking lot...
    80 MPH but it ended only 1 mile away?!?

    It sounds more like the father reached 80 to catch up and "santa" pulled right over.

    I am not saying that he was or was not up to no good, but it just does not add up.

    Glad no body was hurt.
    "Personal weapons are what raised mankind out of the mud..."
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    Senior Member Array tanksoldier's Avatar
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    Tie one end of a rope to a chimney, tie the other end to his cajones... drop him down the chimney headfirst.
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

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