He took a stranglehold on the child because he feared the hen might get physical problems from the maltreatment.
Joakim Osland, age 13, from Førde, Norway, got an unpleasant meeting with Santa at a shopping mall last weekend, according to the paper Bergens Tidende.
Santa was at the mall at Førde Torg, sitting in a wagon along with a mini pig and the hen in question. When the 13-year-old boy wanted to study the hen closer, the man in the Santa suit just clicked.
“He came from behind, scolded and grabbed me,” Osland explained to the paper. “First with one hand, then the other, so that he took a stranglehold on me. He said I should have respect for animals.”
The alleged reason for the episode was that the 13-year-old did not think the hen looked like an ordinary hen, and when he wanted to pet it, it ran off and he tried to get it. The boy admits that he was unlucky and was a little too hard handling it, but he denies that he ever tried to hurt the hen.
“I like animals,” the boy explained.
His friend, Sølvi Hestvik, was with him at the mall when Santa just lost it, and she states that Santa overreacted to such a degree that her buddy got a mark on his neck.
“Either way, a grown man should not attack a 13-year-old,” the girl said to the paper.
Åsmund Eide, the mall Santa, admits that he grabbed the boy because he thought the boy was hurting the hen. He claims the boy hit the hen, and then laughed him in the face when he reacted to the maltreatment.
“I defended my hen against an abuser and a hooligan,” Eide said.
He added that he does 300 shows a year, and he has never experienced anything like this. He fears his hen will get physical problems as a result of the episode.