Naughty list: Pictures with Santa land at least one person in jail after cash and a gun are flashed

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BATON ROUGE, LA – Two men who were in a Baton Rouge Mall thought it would be okay to take pictures with Santa Claus while flashing cash and a gun.

That move led to the arrest of at least one person, while the second has yet to be identified.

The Mall of Louisiana, like others, has a Santa Claus that is inside for the purpose of having children take pictures with him.

Usually, the pictures are nothing more than children crying or smiling, but this time was a bit different – as two grown men decided they were going to take a picture with the jolly old elf ‘gangster style.’

The photograph shows two men, one standing behind Santa with stacks of what appears to be cash, and another sitting in front of what appears to be an unhappy Santa.

The man who is kneeling in front of Santa is also flashing what looks like cash in his hand and a gun pointed towards the ground. Whether the money or the cash is real is unknown.

After the photograph was taken, it was posted on social media which caught the attention of many people who felt the picture was not only in poor taste but are shocked that the mall would allow such a picture to be taken.

Social media users who were offended by the photograph reached out to the mall leadership through Facebook as well as phone calls.

One post that was placed on the mall’s Facebook page read:

“How in the world would you allow something like this to even take place in the middle of your mall…I thought the mall was supposed to be family oriented???”

Others on Twitter also noted their displeasure, like Miss Britt who noted:

“The world is getting dumber and dumber!”

Ecknozzio Jackson posted:

“My question is who let them pose like & why wasn’t it stopped from the beginning? If it was STOPPED there wouldn’t be a news story period.”

The social media stir made it to the Senior General Manager who assured everyone they are looking into the matter.

While he does not come out and condemn nor condone the matter that occurred in his ‘gun-free zone’ mall, he said:

“The incident is currently under investigation with BRPD [Baton Rouge Police Department] and I’m not allowed to release any information while under an active investigation.”

It did not take long for the Baton Rouge Police Department to identify the unarmed man, 29-year-old Almonzo Paul, who just happened to have an active arrest warrant out of Texas.

Paul was taken into custody for the warrant and it is unknown if he will face any additional charges for the picture.

The Baton Rouge Police Department has not released any details on the man who took the picture while armed. They have also not commented if there will be any criminal charges pending against him or Paul for the stunt.

For now, mall staff will be most certainly ensure that an incident like this does not occur again, especially with the violence that is going on in the area.

Two men arrested and charged with the attempted murder of a Chicago cop after shooting him during a traffic stop

Bad Santa: Convicted sex offender offering his services as Kris Kringle for unsuspecting families

DRACUT, MA – An elderly convicted sexual offender out of Florida began advertising his services as Santa Claus to families on Facebook for the Christmas season.

Although this alleged “Bad Santa” was stopped in his tracks, the thought that other sex offenders are doing this is certainly scary.

 

Boston25 News was notified of the sexual offender, identified as 80-year-old Joseph Bass, and his posting on the Facebook website Uniquely Dracut.

In the posting, Bass allegedly was offering to play Santa Claus for the children in the area. The issue with this, as noted by Boston25, is he is a convicted registered sexual offender out of Florida.

Bass’ conviction came in 2007 when he was found guilty in Palm Beach, Florida for sending a minor harmful information. What that ‘harmful’ information was is not known, but since he is a convicted sexual offender, one can only assume it was some type of illicit material.

Boston25 tracked down Bass and asked him about his ad, and if he thought it was appropriate. Boston25 reporter John Monahan asked Bass:

“So, you think it’s alright to dress up as a Santa and be near children?”

 

Bass, apparently thinking that it was acceptable for him to do so as a convicted sexual offender, responded:

“I have grandchildren, I love children. I’ve never harmed a child in my life.”

Monahan continues his line of questioning:

“So, will you continue to dress up as a Santa Claus then?”

Bass responded:

“If people want me to it’s their prerogative.”

Monahan then asked the obvious question; shouldn’t parents know that the person playing Santa Claus has been convicted of a sexual offense. Bass’ response:

“Well, I guess they do now.”

 

Bass went on to explain that he did not believe the charges against him were fair. When asked why he felt it was unfair, Bass explained that he did not have enough money to fight the charges against him. He said:

“That [conviction] was a plea because I was told it would cost an enormous amount to fight something.”

The glaring issue that this case presents is that any person, regardless of who they are, can offer certain services online to people who have no clue the type of people they may be hiring.

Consider for a moment that you hired someone like Bass, a convicted sexual offender, and you did not check into his background, and you allowed that person to be around your children. God forbid something happens to a child as a result.

In most states, identifying sexual offenders is not difficult as there are websites in which you can put the name in, and any sexual offenses/convictions are brought up immediately. However, according to Boston25, that is not the case in the state of Massachusetts.

In Massachusetts, Boston25 stated that they had file a public records request with the state so that they could confirm Bass’ sexual offender status. Whereas, as they noted, in the State of Florida determining whether someone is a convicted sexual offender would take only a couple of minutes online.

In terms of the actual level 2 classification in Massachusetts, with that category convicted sexual offenders are not prohibited from interacting with children. This means that any level 2 sexual offender can legally participate in any event that involves children.

Any member of law enforcement would urge families to do a quick check online for sexual offender status, where able, before you hire someone to be around your children. If you are in a state like Massachusetts, the Dracut Police Department recommends going to your local agency to determine the best way to find out the information you need.

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