Shoppers say Santa forced to leave store

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AUGUSTA, Ga. - "Let Santa go! Let Santa go," That's what Circuit City shoppers at the Augusta Exchange were chanting when a local pastor, dressed as Santa Clause, was asked to leave.

Circuit City employees told their District manager, Kim Cavros, that customers in line complained to them, saying Santa was "disturbing the peace."

"There was a Santa Clause preaching the gospel out on the corner of the building," said Cavros.

Wayne Adams was one of the shoppers who saw the guy dressed as Santa,"He never promoted his church...never promoted anything just the nice Christmas season."

Whether Santa was preaching the gospel or promoting the Christmas season, Richmond County deputies were called and Santa was escorted off Circuit City property.

Adams saw the whole thing and says, when Santa left -- shoppers left.

"In fact, 5 people left the line after waiting there almost an hour. They left the line because they said,'If Santa couldn't stay there...they weren't going to stay,' "said Adams.

Shoppers say the whole ordeal took part of the fun out of Black Friday.

"Circuit City ought to be nicer," added Adams.

But Circuit City tells News 12, they didn't call deputies on Santa. It was one of the shoppers.

"I don't understand why someone would have done that," said Cavros,"I can tell you that we're a company that believes in free speech and I can tell you that nobody here called the police on the preaching Santa."

Either way, folks agree someone called deputies on Santa and it dampened the Christmas Spirit.

"It dampened it being that Santa was out that early in the morning--just out there walking around trying to let us know the season and reason for the season and they kind of stole that," said Adams.