Monterey County

Police: 'Santa' gives away pot as gifts at Seaside restaurant

Man calls himself Santa while handing out pot

SEASIDE, Calif. - UPDATE: A Monterey Peninsula man claiming he was spreading some belated holiday cheer, found himself behind bars on Monday. This came after he tried to hand out bags of marijuana at a local restaurant.

Seaside police said a man in his late 50s is facing serious charges for pretending to be Santa Claus. They said he attempted to hand out pre-packaged bags of pot at Buffalo Wild Wings, but restaurant workers called police right away.

"He was having a cocktail at the bar, he had a large duffel bag and a backpack with him and they were filled with over two pounds of marijuana," said Seaside Police Sgt. Nick Borges.

Randy Lange, 57, may have a jolly soul, but police said his actions are landing him on the naughty list. Around 4:00 p.m. Monday, employees at Buffalo Wild Wings reported seeing Lange give marijuana to two employees and then approached several customers, telling them he had a gift for them.

"He was not dressed up as Santa, he merely just used the name Santa Claus and said that he just wanted to give out gifts to people. He actually at one point wrapped marijuana in a napkin and placed it into one of the employees tip jar," Borges said.

Borges said during the investigation at the restaurant, the marijuana was recovered and Lange was arrested without a problem.  

"He was being serious. He did not appear surprised at all, in fact he told me he said he expected to be arrested for doing this at some point. Sounded like this was not his first time," Borges said.

Other businesses in the shopping center said he didn't approach them during that day. A manager at Buffalo Wild Wings said the restaurant couldn't comment. Borges said it was a surprising situation for everyone involved.

"This is very unusual. I didn't believe the call when it came out and even when we were investigating here, it was just surreal, I didn't believe him," Borges said.

Lange is charged with furnishing marijuana, which is a federal offense. His bail is $30,000.

PREVIOUS STORY: Seaside Police say 57-year-old Randy Lange is behind bars after he put marijuana in napkins and gave it away to customers as the Buffalo Wild Wings on Monday.

Officers responded to the restaurant at about 4:00p.m. on Fremont Boulevard after they got reports that Lange was claiming to be Santa Claus and giving away marijuana to patrons and some employees.

Officers say Lange gave an employee a napkin filled with marijuana and left a large amount of pot in a tip jar at the bar.  Police say Lange then approached several customers telling them he was Santa Claus and that he had a gift for them.

Police was arrested for "furnishing" marijuana and when officers searched his property they found two pounds of pre-packaged marijuana.

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