Homeowner displays Santa hanging by a noose


Just minutes ago, the Santa was taken down. But while it was up it was an image that made this a Christmas for neighbors to remember -- and not in a good way.

The Santa is life size and appears to be a mannequin with a noose around the neck. Not the image 11-year-old Jason Austin wants to see on his street.

"I'm just gonna say it's wrong. I don't think it's right that someone should just hang Santa Claus up," said Austin.

The Santa is a stark contrast to other more traditional decorations on the street and a surprise to neighbors who've returned from Christmas vacation to see the unusual display.

"It was a bit strange. We were away for Christmas, came back on a Monday and saw. It was a bit weird seeing a hanging Santa. It's a bit weird, isn't it," said neighbor Dan Hickey.

When we asked him if he had talked to his neighbor about it, Hickey replied, "No."

No one answered when we knocked on the homeowner's door, but Sugar Land police were able to get a response. They talked to the homeowner December 23 after receiving several complaints about the hanging Santa.

"The homeowner told us he wanted to send the message that Christmas is about more than Santa Claus," said Capt. Stuart Denton with the Sugar Land Police Department.

Police say neighbors may not like the display, but the homeowner is not in violation of any laws.

Tonya Austin says the display is in violation of Christmas spirit and is upsetting to see every day.

"The street has several small children under the age of seven who still believe in Santa Claus. The hanging from a noose is violently disturbing to me," said neighbor Tonya Austin.

The homeowners association says they were in talks with the homeowner to bring down the display.

No matter how it happened, neighbors told us they're happy they don't have to look at the hanging Santa anymore.

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