12-09-2004, 08:08 PM #1Former Member
- Join Date
- Aug 2003
- In heels
Man playing Santa charged with molestation of Girl "elf" helper 11
FOREST CITY -- The man who portrayed Santa Claus at Santa's House on Friday and Saturday was charged early Sunday morning in Davie County with taking indecent liberties with an 11-year-old child from Rutherford County.
Zay Harold Jones, 73, of 280 Oak Grove Church Rd., Ellenboro, was taken to the Davie County jail after the incident which was reported from a rest area off Interstate 40 near Mocksville.
Jones was released from jail Sunday night after posting a $25,000 bond. Jones has a first court appearance on Thursday, Dec. 16, in Davie County.
Detective J.D. Hartman of the Davie County Sheriff's Department said Monday afternoon that he was called to the rest stop by patrol officers who had responded to the call of a juvenile female who told the officers she had been touched inappropriately.
When he arrived at the rest area, Hartman said Jones -- dressed in a Santa suit and sporting an authentic beard -- was standing in the parking lot of the rest area. The girl and a woman who answered the child's plea for help were waiting in a maintenance shed for security purposes.
The girl, who had volunteered to work as an elf at Santa's House in Forest City on Saturday, was traveling with Jones to Greensboro where he had another engagement to appear as Santa on Sunday afternoon. The girl was to play an elf at that show as well.
The child's parents consented to her traveling with the man after meeting and talking with him on a couple of occasions, the father said.
The child told officers that not long after they left the Forest City at about 6 a.m. Sunday morning, Jones began to touch her inappropriately.
Hartman said the girl told officers she had tried to figure out a plan to get away and told the suspect that she was sick. When Jones stopped his 1999 Lincoln Town Car at the rest area, the child went to the rest room.
Once inside the women's room, the child asked for help and was assisted by a Glen Alpine woman, who was also traveling. The adult used her cell phone to contact emergency help.
Hartman said when the Davie County patrol deputies arrived at the scene, the child was almost hysterical.
"When I got there after they did, you could tell she was upset and had been crying. The officers had given her hot chocolate, cookies and a stuffed animal," he said.
The child's parents were contacted and they immediately drove to Davie County to bring her home.
Rutherford County Chief Deputy C. Philip Byers said Monday evening that Jones "has a criminal record 550 miles long ... a lot of breaking and enterings and assaults."
12-16-2004, 09:40 PM #2Registered User
- Join Date
- Oct 2003
Lordy, this world is full of sick SOB's, but you have to ask why in the world would the mom and dad allow their eleven year old to travel alone with a stranger? And this guy was a stranger...they'd only talked to him a couple of times.
We live in a frightening world, a world where you have to really keep an eye on your child.
12-22-2004, 06:09 AM #3Registered User
- Join Date
- Sep 2003
- Wellington, FL
What a smart and brave little girl. She knew she was in a bad situation and had to get help.
What the h*ll is wrong with her parents? Are they just too naive and trusting? Who let's their little girl go off with someone they've talked to a couple of times.
If Santa had another gig on Sunday, was the little girl going to be in his care overnight? I shudder to think what could have happened to her, if she was."It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog." - Mark Twain