Ohio cops: Man in Santa garb tried to kidnap girl

PARMA, Ohio (AP) - Police near Cleveland say a man dressed as Santa Claus tried to kidnap a 12-year-old girl walking to school.

Anthony Russo was later arrested wearing the Santa suit, complete with pillow and beard, and carrying a sack, a large box of candy canes and a unicycle with Christmas decorations.

Parma Police Capt. Robert DeSimone says the 46-year-old Russo, of Brook Park, is jailed pending charges expected to be filed Thursday.

DeSimone says Russo was hiding in bushes Wednesday in costume and jumped out at the girl. He says Russo tried to get the girl into the bushes, but she walked away. DeSimone says the man followed the girl and grabbed her arm before she entered a store and reported the encounter to a worker.

Police say Russo was arrested on a transit bus.


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