A group of Santa’s elves were threatened and beaten up by a gang of teenagers at a town’s Christmas lights switch-on.
The elves were sworn at, assaulted and even threatened with an air gun by a group of 15 teenagers in the town of Southport in North West England during the official unveiling of the town’s Christmas decorations.
Local company StarKidz, who sent the elves, told the Liverpool Echo the abuse was so bad the elves were scared to walk home alone.
Manager Jan Hayes said: “A few of our elves got absolutely abused by a group of teenagers – it wasn’t very nice.
“One of the elves was punched. They were sworn at and intimidated, to the point where they were scared to walk alone to their cars at the end of the night in case they got cornered by the gang.”
Ms Hayes said that the gang also “grabbed hold” of the elves and held a BB gun to their heads.
“It was happening while the elves were doing their job,” she said. “It is just awful. “There were a few people who saw what happened, and were also affected by them.
“The elves were there for the children. We weren’t being paid for being there – we were just there to give Formby a bit of Christmas magic.”
“I don’t know if we will be back,” she added.
This is not the first violent incident involving Christmas elves in the UK. In 2012, two elves in the town of Wolverhampton were arrested for two separate assaults, including an incident in a bar where a man ended up with a cut lip and a fight outside the town’s Civic Hall.
Back in 2008, angry parents also attacked Santa and his elves at a much-derided Christmas fair in the New Forest after becoming frustrated with the poor quality of the attractions.
Santa ended up nursing a bruised nose as tempers flared over the muddy ground, poor lighting, broken iceskating rink and bored-looking huskies left tethered to posts.
The park ended up receiving an “unprecedented” 1,300 complaints, with visitors dubbing it “Crapland” and “Winter Blunderland”.