Man dressed as Grinch accused of punching guy in reindeer costume at Up North party

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The Grinch and a reindeer have a drink at a bar.

But, the holiday cheer apparently didn't last long.

Two men, both in their 30s, attended a work-related holiday party in costumes last weekend at Hotel Indigo in Traverse City and got into a heated argument before midnight Saturday. It turned violent, police said, when the Grinch took a swing at the reindeer.

Traverse City Police Capt. Keith Gillis said Tuesday the fight certainly was not in the spirit of Christmas.

The police, who were called to the hotel to break up the brawl, arrested the man dressed as the Grinch — the grumpy, green potbellied character in "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" written by Dr. Seuss, in films and even a song — in connection with the misdemeanor.

"We go to assaults all the time," the captain said, declining to release either man's name. "But, obviously, with the media and social media, everyone is getting a chuckle out of it because it was the Grinch. I mean, it is was it is."

In the children's book, the Grinch lives just outside the cheery Who-ville and plots to stop Christmas by impersonating Santy Claus and taking everyone's gifts. He is mean, hates the holiday and likely has a heart, the poem speculates, "two sizes too small."

But after the heist — when Christmas comes anyway — the Grinch realizes gifts aren't what the holiday is about.

Gillis told the Free Press he did not know why the men were fighting, or how it started, but said they worked together and that may have been the cause of some of the "underlying problems" between them. He also did not know whether anyone else had come to the party in a costume.

WPBN-TV in Traverse City and MLive also gave an account of the incident.

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MLive ended its report noting: "Police believe the incident was fueled by alcohol consumption and not the size of either man’s heart."

The news outlet did not say — and neither did police — whether the experience had changed the Grinch.

Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Grinch punches reindeer at Traverse City hotel party, police say