St. Paul home rocked by intoxicated student dressed as zombie Santa Claus
By Mara Gottfried/ St. Paul Pioneer Press
An intoxicated stranger dressed as a zombie Santa Claus terrified two teenagers when he entered their St. Paul home over the weekend.
“This guy ought to be examining his conscience … for what he did to those kids,” she said.
The children were scared but are fine now, Tom Sullivan, their father, said Monday.
“The police did a nice job of calming them down and explaining the individual meant no harm,” he said. “Fortunately, it had a happy ending and no one will ever think of Santa the same way. If you’re going to have a break-in, this is the best kind — someone who means no harm and was looking for a place to sleep.”
Police cited a man who is a University of St. Thomas senior for trespassing. The university is about six blocks from the site of Saturday’s incident. A police report didn’t say where the man was coming from.
A Zombie Pub Crawl started in Minneapolis at 4 p.m. that day. Saturday was also homecoming at St. Thomas, though there was no zombie theme, a university spokesman said.
Officers were called to a home in the area of Sargent and Cretin avenues at 9:45 p.m. Saturday. They were told that a man had entered the residence wearing a Santa suit and looking like a zombie, said Sgt. Paul Paulos, a St. Paul police spokesman. The man had vomited and didn’t know where he was when police woke him up, Paulos said.
Police cited Brock Quinn Johnson of Roseville for trespassing and took him to the detoxification center, Paulos said. Johnson declined comment Monday.
Marrinan was home Saturday night when she and her husband heard loud yelling coming from outside. It was a 14-year-old boy who lives on the block, and she said “he was just beside himself,” yelling “Help!”
“What had happened was so sudden and so unexpected, I think he was sort of in a state of shock,” Marrinan said. “I’ve never heard yelling that loud. I couldn’t believe he had the lung power to shout as loudly as he did.”
When Marrinan and her husband went to the door, the boy told them, “This guy came into our house, he’s dressed like Santa and he has a zombie head,” Marrinan said. She said they had the reaction of, “What? Say that again?”
The boy already had called 911 from a cellphone. “This kid is really a together kind of kid who did exactly what he should do,” Marrinan said, adding that he was on the verge of hysterics because of concern for his sister.
Sullivan and his wife had been out in the neighborhood and the door to the home was closed, but not locked, he said. The boy was washing dishes when he heard the door open.
“He comes to say ‘Hi’ to his parents and here’s Santa the zombie,” Marrinan said. “He freaked out, yelled to his sister, and ran out the back of the house.”
The girl locked herself in a bathroom with a cellphone and called her parents, who quickly returned to the house, Marrinan said.
Marrinan said she saw the man when he was brought to a squad car and the boy’s description was right — he was dressed like Santa and looked like a zombie. He wasn’t wearing a mask, and Marrinan suspected that makeup caused the zombie effect.
Sullivan and Marrinan said their block, south of St. Thomas, is normally quiet.
The university recently apologized for “noise, disruption and negativity that some neighbors immediately north and east of campus experienced” on the weekend of the football game against St. John’s University.
“UST has fielded a number of complaints, a handful of kudos and the beginnings of some real engagement — among offices on campus and with neighbors — in working together on solutions to the problems of noise, rowdy partying and public drunkenness,” the university emailed neighbors and posted on its website Oct. 2.
The university noted that neighbors to the south and west of campus reported “their weekend generally was quieter than in years past” and that “the vast majority of our students are studious, law-abiding and, yes, fun-loving young people who know how to have a good time without disrespecting others’ rights.”