PEMBROKE, N.H., DEC. 24 -- Undaunted by their brief arrest, Santa, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and one of the elves made their rounds today, delivering the last of their Christmas trees and other gifts to the poor.
Santa -- really 25-year-old Paul Dubois of Manchester, N.H. -- said today that police stopped him last Thursday night on the main route through Pembroke and, while four horrified children looked on, twisted his arms behind him and handcuffed him.
Rudolph -- really Peter Lindahl of Deerfield -- had to unzip his reindeer bodysuit and take off his head, illuminated with Christmas lights, so he could reach in his pocket and get out his wallet and identification.
"I was totally in shock, and the kids standing there couldn't believe Rudolph could undress himself and Santa was in handcuffs," said the elf -- Skip Sullivan, 39, of Hooksett.
Dubois had failed to pay a $25 late fee to clear up a 1989 motor vehicle violation. The three also got new charges of carrying unapproved lighting and safety equipment: Their pickup truck was lit with more than 1,600 Christmas lights and a lighted Santa figure.
Officer George Northrop took Santa to the police station, while the elf and Rudolph followed in the truck, the three men said.
"The Pembroke police are grinches," said Sullivan, who is also giving away free tires and vehicle maintenance to the poor.
Sullivan owns Great Northern Tire Co. of Hooksett, N.H., employs the other two and sponsored the gift-giving.