Los Angeles, California - Tragedy occurred as a department store Santa leaped to his death from a building in downtown Los Angeles yesterday. It is believed the man was responding to ad in the local newspaper calling on free-base jumpers to gather there in hopes of setting a new record for the most parachutists dressed as Santa to jump from a stationary object. The man, dressed in full Santa suit regatta, leaped to his death without a parachute.
Police are investigating the fatality not as a suicide but rather another drug related death.
"Apparently the victim had a drug abuse problem," said police officials. "Which contributed to his death in a manner that has yet to be determined by our ongoing investigation. But given this guy's job, it definitely had something to do with it."
Substance abuse is quite common among the seasonally employed and especially for a department store Santa; confirm statistics from the Employment Development Department of California.
"We work for just a few week out of the year and for those few weeks everybody loves you, women and kids especially," said Joe Vasscanello, a recently unemployed department store Santa. "You're the center of the world's attention. Then just like that the season's over, and you're no body again and unemployed, too. No wonder we start using alcohol and drugs to self-medicate. Wouldn't you?"
Although police have yet to determine what degree substance addiction contributed to the department store Santa's death, they confirm the presence of drug paraphernalia at the scene of the incident consistent with drug use, just moments prior to department store Santa leaping to his death.
"We found a crack pipe right next to what appear to be hoof marks on the ledge where department store Santa jumped," said police. "We just don't know if they were already there, put there after or present at the time the department store Santa jumped."
Police also report finding a local newspaper at the rooftop with an ad circled in red ink.
It was an ad placed by a local group of free-base jumpers dressed as Santa to gather at the very same rooftop for their attempt to set a new holiday record.
Police suspect the department store Santa, in a drug induced mental haze, misunderstood the ad, as calling for a freebasing Santa to jump from the rooftop and mistakenly leaped to his death, although police are still baffled about the presence of hoof marks.
"Poor guy," said Vasscanello. "He probably thought he got lucky and found another Santa gig to ride out the end of the year. I bet when he found out it was just a one-day thing, not even that, he probably sat back whipped out some crack and lit up like a Christmas tree. Freebasing like that, alone on the holidays on a rooftop with no one around to talk you down will kill you. He probably thought he could really fly like a magic reindeer and jumped."