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Santas Run Riot in Wales

Imagine 4,000 Santa Clauses running down a street, many of them drunk.

Then imagine about 30 of them getting sucked into a massive brawl as police break up the donnybrook with nightsticks and tear gas.

That's exactly what happened Dec. 5 in the small city of Newtown (search) in central Wales, according to the BBC.

"A very successful Santa Run day ... was spoilt by the drunken behavior of a number of local individuals who managed to consume too much alcohol and became involved in a serious public order incident," said a police spokesman.

The Santa Run (search) has been held for charity since 2001, when about 500 faux Clauses took part. But in fine British fashion, lager and rowdiness were quick to follow the crowds.

"[There is a] belief that it is just becoming a beer festival, as mentioned in the press a few weeks ago," complained local police officer Gareth Slaymaker. "This is the sort of behavior that gives a well-organized event a bad name."

Eight police officers were slightly hurt quelling the Santa street fight, which took place hours after the Sunday-afternoon race had finished, giving participants plenty of time to quaff Christmas ale in the pubs.

Five St. Nicks were arrested and spent the night, as the British say, in the nick.

Run organizers tried to downplay the violence, even going so far as to suggest that the brawlers, though dressed in Santa suits, weren't actually participants in the charity event.

"I'm not sure if they actually took part in the race," said Dougie Bancroft, spokesman for Dial-a-Ride (search), "because Santa suits were left by many in the town's park."

"There's no way people can link the Santa Run to the drunkenness and violence that ensued after the race," opined local Welsh Assembly representative Mick Bates. "The problem with excessive drinking is not the responsibility of the Santa Run but of pub landlords and individuals."

Last year, £80,000 was raised by the Santa Run, worth about $150,000 in today's somewhat skewed exchange rates.

— Thanks to Out There reader Sara G.

Man Bites Dog, Many Times

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A man has been charged with animal cruelty for allegedly biting his Jack Russell terrier (search) as punishment, and police say he used a 200-pound bull mastiff in an attempt to keep back officers who arrived to arrest him.

The mother of Mount Lee Lacy's girlfriend called police because she was concerned about an argument between him and her daughter about Lacy's unusual discipline method for his dog Lady.

Officers kicked down the apartment door when they heard an argument and a barking dog. Lacy was holding the mastiff named Breaker on a taut leash six feet inside the door. The officers drew their guns but didn't fire.

Lacy, 21, was handcuffed and jailed Saturday on one count each of felony animal cruelty and resisting arrest without violence. He remained in the Alachua County Jail on $25,000 bail Tuesday.

"He said that biting the dog was good punishment and that's how you train them, that dogs bite so that's what they understand," Sgt. Keith Kameg said. "When an officer went to check on [Lady], she was cowering in the back of her crate as if the officer was going to hurt her."

Lacy told officers Lady had defecated in the house and had to be bitten.

Police reported Lady's left front paw was bloody from a bite. Jack Russell terriers normally weight 10 to 16 pounds.

"If you are inflicting injury or breaking skin, or the dog is responding to pain, you are not doing any good," said Pepe Peruyero, a former police officer who operates a dog training school in nearby High Springs.

— Thanks to Out There readers Chris R., Harley W. and Brandon D.

Dog Bites Man Where It Hurts the Most

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A naked man was bitten in the genitals by a police dog while being arrested for running nude and entering homes in a Minneapolis neighborhood. The man was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries.

According to police reports, a police canine unit found the nude suspect shortly after noon Dec. 7 in a house on the 5400 block of Park Avenue South.

While the officer was ordering the suspect out of the house, the suspect began hitting him, police said.

The dog, which was still leashed, bit the suspect to protect the officer.

Officer Ron Reier, a department spokesman, said police dogs are trained to bite if their partner is attacked. However, dogs are not trained to bite in the groin area.

Reier said the dog likely just jumped and bit the man, who was moving around at the time.

"The dog did what the dog is trained to do, and that is protect his handler," Reier said.

After the man was bitten, he continued to attack officers and police used a stun gun before eventually restraining him, police said.

The dog was removed from street duty while the incident is being reviewed, and the suspect is in police custody, Reier said.

— Thanks to Out There reader Craig A.

Man Sticks Up Own Sister at Store

MEXICO, Ind. (AP) — When a masked man pointed a gun at an auto-repair-shop clerk threatening to kill her, she thought she recognized his voice.

Police said that was likely because the man holding the handgun was the 16-year-old clerk's brother.

"He pointed the gun at her head and told her he would kill her," Miami County Sheriff Ken Roland said. "Then he pulled the trigger, but nothing was in it."

Roland said while a deputy was interviewing the girl after the Dec. 7 robbery at Owens Marathon Auto Repair, her brother called. The deputy told her to stay on the line as long as she could, and dispatchers traced the call's location, Roland said.

Deputies arrested three suspects, including the clerk's brother, after finding them making the call from a pay phone, Roland said.

The brother, Bryce A. Swihart, 18, along with Anthony W. Dance, 18, and a juvenile were charged with armed robbery, a Class B felony, and more charges could be filed, police said.

Roland said Swihart stole more than $200 from the auto-repair shop in the village about 55 miles southwest of Fort Wayne.

Roland said the sheriff's department has had several encounters with Swihart.

"This boy has had problems in the past," he said. "He's been a problem since he was a juvenile."

R2D2 to Be Optional

GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — Not so long ago in a galaxy far, far away — or just southeast of Philadelphia — Mike Degirolamo had a plan.

He wanted to build a 20-by-12-foot model of a Jawa Sandcrawler (search), a hulking transport vehicle from the original "Star Wars" film, before the next installment of the saga "Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" opens in May.

To get the project done, he doesn't need the Force, but rather the power to persuade the township council it's a worthy project.

The council is planning a special meeting to discuss whether Degirolamo will be allowed to erect the model on the property of a local business.

There are two concerns about the proposed meeting of the fantasy and real worlds, according to township community development director Ed Sayers.

First, the property is in a historic redevelopment area where the Sandcrawler might not fit in architecturally. Also, it could be a liability.

"This is certainly one of those gray areas," Sayers said. "This could wind up being an attractive nuisance and a safety concern if kids try to climb on it."

Compiled by FOXNews.com's Paul Wagenseil.

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