MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — Muncie police are teaming up with a very jolly old man this week to deliver thousands of presents to local kids.
The Indiana Pacers donated 3,000 gifts to the Muncie Police Department. That’s a lot of toys, so the police called a guy who knows a thing or two about handing out presents: Santa Clause.
Santa’s sleigh is in the shop, so he traveled through Muncie in the back of a police car. Sgt. Bret Brown filled in for Rudolph, who is not licensed to drive in the state of Indiana.
“Ho, ho, ho!,” Santa shouted from the back of the car. “Merry Christmas!”
A detective told Santa about a Muncie home where three little boys and a baby live. They all made the nice list.
Santa surprised them with footballs, action figures and, of course, candy.
“He got me this, dad!” three-year-old Bryson Hart exclaimed as he hoisted his new football.
The father of the boys, Matthew Hart, said he had no idea Santa was coming.
“You stress all month just to see smiles on their faces. Give them a little bit of what they ask for and still try to maintain living at the same time,” Hart said. “It’s kind of a challenge.”
Santa was a bit late making it to his next step because of a traffic jam in northwest Muncie.
“If I was in my sleigh, I would just be right on top of all the traffic,” he said.
He hopped out in front of the home where a two-year-old named Lennon lives.
Last year, Lennon’s dad died in a car crash. Santa gave her some extra Christmas cheer, a Rapunzel doll and plenty of other toys.
“We just feel really lucky and blessed,” Lennon’s mom, Brooke Routh said.
You could say Santa’s Friday stops were just a test run. He said his sleigh will be ready to fly by 9:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
“I’m loading up on carbohydrates. Trying to beef up my reindeer. Making sure they have plenty of food and water,” Santa said.
Santa said he’s been spending some of his free time as a Sgt. with the Muncie Police Department. He said 24 Hour News 8’s David Barras has until Christmas morning to redeem himself from the naughty list. Daybreak reporter Joe Mellillo, Santa said, has no hope of making the nice list.