Larry Jefferson was the first black Santa Claus at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.
Larry Jefferson has been putting on a big red suit and perfecting his best ho, ho, ho for nearly 20 years.
The retired Army captain plays Santa at shopping malls, holiday parties and charity benefits. He hit the big time this year when he was handpicked at a Santa convention to appear at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.
And by all accounts, kids and parents at the mall loved him. But when the story spread online, the negative attacks starting pouring in — because Jefferson is black.
Jefferson says the online negativity didn’t surprise him — “because of the times in which we are living in” — but, he adds, “that backlash was only a small percentage.”
For Santa Larry, as he likes to be called, playing Santa pretty much seems to be his calling in life. “That’s what all my friends are telling me, despite what the mean-spirited Grinch people are saying online,” he tells NPR’s Rachel Martin. “They’re going to get coal … for sure.”
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – Police are currently searching for a man they say was caught by a child masturbating on a woman in a Walmart toy aisle Friday.
According to Winter Haven police, the male suspect entered the Walmart, located at 355 Cypress Gardens Blvd., around 8:30 p.m. He appeared to be looking for someone, walked around for a bit and then went to the restroom.
Police say he exited the bathroom and headed to the toy section where a woman and a 12-year-old child were looking at toys.
The man paced the aisle for a short time and walked up behind the woman while her back was turned looking at toys on the shelves. According to police, the child, who was in the cart, witnessed the man masturbate onto the back of the woman. When she turned to the child, she noticed the child was distressed.
Police say she asked the child what was the matter and the child told her what the man did. By the time the woman turned to look, the suspect was gone.