Apparently Santa killed himself outside your house. Ho, ho, ho?
Residents of a Miami Beach, Fla., neighborhood are perplexed and angered by a display showing a large blindfolded Santa Claus hanging from a noose from a high tree in a man's yard, according to Florida's Local 6 News.
Neighborhood children can easily see the nearly life-sized suicide Santa, strung up by homeowner Ron Stroia, Local 6 News said.
"It's just wrong — I mean who would want their children to see this? — and it reminds adults of lynching," neighbor Estelle Farnsworth told Local 6 News. "It's just nasty. There is no spirit of Christmas in this."
Some kind of wire also apparently binds suicide Saint Nick's hands and legs.
"Now the kids are sad with that, you know, because they say it's not fair with Santa," neighbor Tanira Giacian told Local 6 News. "Santa should be around bringing their gifts, looking for the gifts, and not hanging on a tree. They're just kind of scared of that."
Police told residents who called them to remove the display that there's nothing they can do — since Stroia is protected by the First Amendment, Local 6 News reported.
Stroia won't talk publicly with the media, but said in a phone interview that it's his right to hang up his suicide Santa — no matter what his neighbors and their kids think.
"This has really caused a big stir in the neighborhood. This is just cruel," Farnsworth told Local 6 News.
— Thanks to Out There reader Betsi A.
CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) — Some people go with a reindeer ornament or an inflatable Santa Claus for their holiday lawn display. Joe Moretti went with Paris Hilton.
Moretti's display features a collection of blown-up images of Hilton adorned with pink lights. In one, she sports a tiny pink top hiding little of her chest; in another, she wears knee-high boots and a sultry pout. Even Hilton's faithful Chihuahua, Tinkerbell, is celebrated in a colorful portrait.
Reaction has been mixed, and some say it is inappropriate.
"If it's offending anyone, I apologize," Moretti, 38, said. "That's not the intent. The intent is to be different and to be creative and let them see a little bit of Hollywood or New York — bring it to Cranston."
The display includes a list entitled "How to Be a Hilton," complete with tips such as: "An entrance is everything," "NEVER wake before 10 a.m." and "NEVER spend the summer in NYC." A number of cars slowed or came to a complete stop on the busy road as they passed Moretti's house Thursday afternoon.
"It's nothing more than they could see on TV, on normal stations — or actually at school," said Stefanie D'Angelos, 28, who has four children.
Ron Raffonelli, 65, said he would be upset if his young grandchildren came to associate Christmas with naked woman. He'd prefer the kids to think of Santa Claus.
After all, Raffonelli said, "He's been around longer."
— Thanks to Out There reader Beth M.
— Click in the photo box above to see a pic of Paris Hilton's totally hot Christmas.
HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (AP) — A police officer has been charged with using a Taser on his partner during an argument over whether they should stop for a soft drink.
Ronald Dupuis, 32, was charged Wednesday with assault and could face up to three months in jail if convicted. The six-year veteran was fired after the Nov. 3 incident.
Dupuis and partner Prema Graham began arguing after Dupuis demanded she stop their car at a store so he could buy a soft drink, according to a police report.
The two then struggled over the steering wheel, and Dupuis hit her leg with his department-issued Taser, the report said. She was not seriously hurt.
Hamtramck police union lawyer Eugene Bolanowski said he expected Dupuis to hire a private lawyer.
Hamtramck is a city of 23,000.
— Thanks to Out There readers Scott S. and Derek H.
ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — A black curtain has risen between a shopping mall Santa and a lingerie store to shield children from a display of skimpy undergarments.
The Victoria's Secret window display includes a leggy mannequin in a hot-pink thong and a bra and the message "Give Me Sexy."
Following complaints from parents, management at Valley View Mall on Thursday raised the curtain to shield Santa's chair — and his young visitors — from the display.
"I want to make sure that everyone feels comfortable," mall spokeswoman Mandy York said. "We can't move the store ... We don't have control over what they put in their windows."
Shirley Fairchild, waiting in line to see Santa with her grandchildren, Allison, 11, and Logan, 6, said the black curtain did a good job of hiding the lingerie-clad mannequins from children's view.
— Thanks to Out There reader Beth M.
CHURCH HILL, Tenn. (AP) — Two women's craving for apple pie got them in a pickle.
The manager of a McDonald's restaurant called police Tuesday after the women, who employees say were acting strangely as they ordered the pies at a drive-thru, struck the side of the building with their pickup.
When officers arrived, they found Heather Amber Anderson, 24, inside the restaurant and behind the counter trying to open a cash register.
"I asked her what she was doing, and she stated she was trying to pay for her food," Sgt. Chad Mosely wrote in his report. "I checked with the manager and learned that the girl was not an employee and that she had been fired approximately two weeks ago."
Mosely said Anderson was unsteady on her feet and her speech was slurred. He charged her with public intoxication and possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
Outside, the driver of the pickup, 41-year-old Neeica Jean Mull, also appeared intoxicated and told police she had taken prescription medication, authorities said. She was charged with driving under the influence.
— Thanks to Out There reader Eudoro B.
LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Most people can't assign a dollar value to a pet's love, but Pamela McMahan can — $50 a day.
That's the amount she's fined every time she takes her mixed-breed cocker spaniel, Ginger, out through the lobby of her ocean-view condominium building and back inside again. Her tab so far is $1,600.
The building association says she is breaking the rules by walking Ginger through the lobby rather than carrying her. McMahan, 61, says she's partially disabled from a back injury and cannot lift the 20-pound pooch.
"Can you believe it?" McMahan said Wednesday. "It's so ridiculous."
Property manager David Dickter said the long-standing rule, which levies a $25 fine for each trip through the lobby, was in effect before McMahan moved into the building.
"A lot of elderly people live in the building, and a dog can jump up on them and they can get tangled in the leash," he said.
McMahan said she doesn't want to exit from the basement into a dead-end alley because homeless people congregate there. McMahan, who bought her condo in 1994 but moved in three years ago, said she has already paid $600 in fines.
— Thanks to Out There reader Beth M.
SEARCY, Ark. (AP) — Daniel Townsend apparently had plenty of engine to outrun law officers, but he didn't have enough fuel.
Townsend, 27, of Augusta, allegedly sped away Wednesday from a sheriff's deputy who tried to pull him over. Authorities say he was driving a stolen Lexus recklessly on U.S. 67/167 north of Searcy.
The chase went through city streets in Searcy during morning traffic, and officers said Townsend reached speeds of about 100 mph. Sheriff's Capt. Clayton Edwards said Townsend darted through traffic, ran red lights and sped down the wrong side of the road shortly after 7 a.m.
White County Sheriff Pat Garrett said Townsend made it through the city and returned to the highway. Shortly after, the engine on Deputy Kyle Toler's cruiser stopped running and Townsend continued onward.
But Townsend, spotted by other law officers, stopped about 23 miles later, when he ran out of gas and coasted to a stop.
Townsend was taken into custody on numerous charges for the chase, plus additional parole violations and an outstanding warrant, Garrett said.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Andrew Hard.
Got a good "Out There" story in your hometown? We'd like to know about it. Send an e-mail with a Web link (we need to authenticate these things) to firstname.lastname@example.org.