Madison police arrest man described as ‘Santa Claus,’ accused of stabbing stranger

A Columbus man is accused of stabbing a stranger in Madison Wednesday night, police said.

Officers arrested Barry M. Budris, 63, on a tentative charge of first-degree reckless endangerment.

Police said a couple were talking along the 1000 block of Williamson Street around 7 p.m. when a man approached them from behind. This area is near McPike and Orton parks.

The couple said the man then stabbed the boyfriend in the shoulder with a 3-inch folding knife.

The couple was able to provide police with a description of the suspect, police said.

The woman told police the strange man looked like Santa Claus and was wearing a bandanna and dark clothing while “mumbling incoherently.”

Officers found Budris walking in McPike Park. They said he smelled heavily of intoxicants and carried a pop bottle filled with alcohol.

The man also had blood on his fingertips, according to a release by the Madison Police Department.

Detectives obtained a warrant for his blood to be drawn at the hospital before Budris was booked into the Dane County jail.

The injured man was taken to the hospital, where he received several stitches, according to the release.

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