Man dressed as Santa charged with harassment, prowling

8:56 AM, Nov 2, 2011   |    comments
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DONORA (KDKA) - A man from Donora is charged with harassment and prowling after police say he showed up outside a woman's home dressed in a Santa Claus costume.

James Jakela, 47, allegedly knocked and banged on the woman's screen door, peeked into the window of the front door, and went around to the back of the house, according to police papers.

Police say when an officer arrived, people inside the home, including some children, were yelling, "He went to the back. He is in the back.. hurry.. hurry please!"

According to the paperwork, police had to chase Jakela down to make an arrest.

It's also stated that the woman in the home had received text messages from Jakela prior to the alleged incident in which he asked if she were home and if she wanted to see his costume. The woman says she did not reply to his texts.

Jakela is charged with harassment, resisting arrest, flight to avoid apprehension, disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and loitering and prowling at night.

No one answered the door the Jakela's home, but his neighbor says he's a good man and that she's very surprised by the charges.

Donora's 90 year-old mayor, John Lignelli, is also puzzled by the charges, saying that Jakela is "an A-1 guy."

Police say Jakela was also recently cited for smashing a bunch of pumpkins that were outside someone's home.

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