VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Police pulled Santa Claus over on Saturday night as he drove through a Virginia neighborhood atop a firetruck, according to WTKR.
Santa was in the back of the privately-owned, retired vehicle greeting children in the Chimney Hill area of Virginia Beach when police pulled the truck over. The firetruck's sirens, apparently being used to alert families that Santa was passing by, prompted several residents to call 911, neighbors said.
Police told the driver to stop using the sirens, which effectively ended the event, according to neighbors.
"We pulled over and I'm like, 'You pulled a firetruck over with Santa Claus on top. What's going on?'" Driver Jasen White said he asked the officer. "The whole purpose of what we were doing was just to make the kids smile. It wasn't meant to disturb anybody."
White said the event had been planned for months and was advertised through the Chimney Hill Community Association. An ad is still listed on the association's website. Once the sirens stopped, White said, children didn't know Santa was coming and the cold weather kept many inside their homes.
Several families missed their chance to see Santa, including the Jones family. "I think it's ridiculous," said Richelle Jones, a mom whose two kids were waiting to see Santa, but never did. "It's absolutely ridiculous. There are so many children in this neighborhood."
White says he was told they didn't need a permit as they weren't stopping in the roads. He has a message to the neighbors who complained, "It was two hours out of your Saturday evening the weekend before Christmas. Was it that bad? Was it really that bad?"
After compliance, Virginia Beach police did not issue the driver a ticket.