Mall Santa Claus from above.

Did a Mall Santa and His Elves Beat Up an Accused Child Molester?

A persistent and untrue story about a mall Santa Claus beating up a child molester after a little girl said “all she wanted was for her stepdad to stop touching her at night” appears every Christmas:

Santa beats up a child molester while saying his famous catchphrases

— That Happened (@ThatDefHappened) November 3, 2017

The story seems to have first appeared at and has since been copied and pasted across the online world without its original disclaimer:

As well as more serious content, we sometimes share the odd satire stories for your entertainment.

This falls under “odd satire.” The story originally appeared under the headline, “Kid Tells Mall Santa a Secret; Seconds Later Him and His Elves Are Beating Up Child Molester,” and it has been shared hundreds of thousands of times on social media:

66 year-old Nicholas Cooper was taken into custody for assaulting Kris Kane, 38, after an unnamed young girl confided in him. She said that she ‘wanted to tell Santa a secret’ and that ‘all she wanted was for her stepdad to stop touching her at night’.

Kane was waiting by the side of the Southridge grottos for his stepdaughter to finish talking to Santa. And when he saw the fake bearded and red suited Cooper come towards him, he thought he was in for a chat about what gifts she wanted… But he couldn’t have been more wrong.

“Santa didn’t say nothing. He just grabbed the back of the guy’s skull and headbutted him REAL hard,” an eyewitness said. “Then Kringle got on top of him and just started pummeling him. He was laughing and screaming ‘Ho! Ho! Ho! Motherf*cker!’ over and over again. It was damn surreal.”

The witness goes on: “That ain’t even the damnedest thing, though. While Santa’s punching the cr*p out of this guy, three or four of his little elves ran over and started kicking him. I mean, they’ve only got little legs – but they were aiming for his head. He was NOT left feeling very festive after that!” reported that the mall Santa beating took place at Southridge Mall in Greendale, Wisconsin, but we found no credible local reports about the incident. Also, no sexual assault criminal charges have been brought against anyone with the festive name “Kris Kane,” according to online court records.

Given all that, we’re confidently calling this one “fiction.”