A man dressed as Santa Claus was charged with assault Friday, accused of using a board to strike a 74-year-old woman in the face and head, police said. Elkin Donnie Clarke, 49, also allegedly threatened to hit a second woman who stepped in to make him stop hitting Annie Ruth Nelson, 74. The second woman was not injured but Nelson was knocked unconscious and taken to a hospital, police spokesman Sgt. John Quigley said.

Clarke told police Nelson had taken 29 sealed boxes of Hershey's chocolates worth $145 US from him but witnesses did not confirm his story, Quigley said.