Santa Claus Detained by Police at Christmas Market in Viral Video

Video footage of German police detaining a man dressed as Santa Claus for refusing to comply with their demands for identification has gone viral.

A clip of the incident was posted on the Twitter page and has already been viewed over 650,000 times.

The incident occurred at around 6 p.m. at the Old Market Square in Strausland.

Speaking to Newsweek, Strausland Police explained that despite posts on social media, the incident was not about the man's lack of a face mask.

A police spokesperson said: "About 65 people gathered without registration with posters and candles on the Old Market Square in Stralsund. They apparently expressed their opinions against the current corona measures and mandatory vaccination.

"For this reason, the police officers of the police district Stralsund and Grimmen determined the personal details of those present. The background is that an unregistered meeting is a criminal offense under the Assembly Act.

"Among those present, there was also a person in a Santa Claus costume. The police were also surprised that Santa Claus did not comply with the law and also expressed his opinion with a poster. The 47-year-old Stralsund was obviously an actor of the assembly. He was not employed as Santa Claus at the Local Christmas Market."

The Stralsund police department added that the man in the Santa costume refused to give his information and was subsequently escorted to a patrol car.

In addition to this, the police noted that "a complaint was filed against the 47-year-old German on suspicion of resistance to enforcement officers and insult."

They also said that the man was released by the police at around 7:15 p.m. and they now suspect the individual has previously "committed crimes against the Assembly Act in connection with Corona-critical demonstrations."

Another video of German authorities enforcing COVID-19 rules went viral over the weekend and was viewed over 2.8 million times.

A video posted on Twitter by various German Twitter users showed police walking through groups of people in Hamburg measuring how socially distanced they were with a ruler. People could also be seen holding signs on placards but it is not yet clear whether they were part of a wider protest.

At the beginning of December Germany announced it would be increasing its coronavirus measures in a bid to stop the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

On December 2 Germany announced a lockdown for the unvaccinated. Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the need for tighter measures to combat COVID-19 during a press conference.

She said: "We have understood that the situation is very serious and that we want to take further measures in addition to those already taken.

"To do this, the fourth wave must be broken and this has not yet been achieved."

Germany has a relatively low vaccine uptake rate compared to elsewhere in Europe.

Last week, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach defended restrictions for the unvaccinated and mandatory vaccinations for medical and nursing staff.

He told the Bundestag lower house of parliament: "It's absolutely unacceptable that in establishments where people live, who put their trust in us to protect them, that people are unnecessarily dying because unvaccinated work there."

Reuters also claimed that only 69 percent of the population is fully vaccinated while at least 21 percent have received a booster shot.

Santa Claus
Stock image of a man dressed as Santa Claus. A video of a man dressed as Santa Claus in Germany being arrested has gone viral. Getty