Carmel Woman Arrested In Santa Assault

Police: Woman Ripped Off Santa's Beard, Hair

A 19-year-old woman was arrested Monday on several charges after she ripped Santa Claus' beard off his face outside Conseco Fieldhouse before the Indiana Pacers game, police said.

Investigators said the incident happened at about 6:45 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Street plaza, when an off-duty officer saw Tricia Kennelly, 19, of Carmel, tug on Santa's beard, yanking it off his face before pulling the hair off his head.

"She then proceeded to laugh and walk inside the fieldhouse and stand just inside the doors," the officer said in a police report.

Santa told police that the beard was attached very well and that it hurt when it was ripped off. He also said that he thought his attacker was intoxicated.

Police determined that Kennelly was drunk and found that she had vodka hidden in her shirt.

Kennelly and two friends -- Daniel Miller, 19, of Indianapolis and Jennifer Brown, 18, of Zionsville -- were arrested on charges of public intoxication and possession of alcohol by a minor. Kennelly was also arrested on a preliminary charge of battery.

Santa was not seriously injured.