by Colleen Smith, Staff Reporter

santa and elvesA horrible scene broke out December 6 at Valley Heights Mall. A shopper named Gina Crank flew into a violent rage, claiming that Thomas Reynolds, who works as the mall's Santa Claus, insulted her. "I was greeting the children with my traditional ho ho ho, and some deranged woman went off on me."

Crank shouted "Who are you calling a ho? Fat man!" and charged the elderly gentleman. She dropped her shopping bags, picked up a large aluminum candy cane, and proceeded to hit Reynolds repeatedly over the head and upper torso. Frightened children ran from the scene screaming, and mall security stood idly by, staring in disbelief. Two employees dressed as elves attempted to come to his rescue, but were also viciously pummeled. Ricky Jones was kicked in the groin with her pointed high heel shoes, and punched in the nose while Brandy Plummer was leveled with a professional wrestling move. The sight of frightened children fleeing and screaming caused a panic throughout the mall as shoppers feared some sort of terrorist attack. Crank, with a deranged look on her face, repeatedly exclaimed "anyone else want a piece of me?" until police arrived.

I sought comments from witnesses on the scene, and they expressed shock and disbelief. Later, a man claiming that he had once dated Crank said, "Yeah that sounds just like old Gina Skank. Dressing trashy, and going off like a firecracker if anyone says anything about it. She's nuts! I used to try to take her nice places, but she would never dress up. They wouldn't let us in the door the way she looked! When I broke up with her, she broke out every window at my apartment, and slashed my tires."

Reynolds said that this would be his last season working as Santa. "Not only are today's kids just plain mean, but now I am getting pounced upon by disturbed individuals." Elf, Brandy Plummer cried when recalling the incident, saying "This is supposed to be the season of peace on earth and good will toward men! What is wrong with the world?"

Gina Crank was arrested for three counts of assault and battery, disorderly conduct, and inciting a riot. I contacted the local Police after her booking, and was allowed to speak with her. "I turn heads everywhere I go, because I look hot. I dress to get noticed, and maybe I do show some skin, but that doesn't give some fat old (expletive deleted) no right to call me a ho!" I asked her if she regretted the incident, and she said no, claiming she would do it again. "I don't put up with that (expletive deleted) from nobody!"

You can make Christmas more personal for your kids by turning the decorations into an arts and crafts project for your kids, which you can find on many children activities websites.