updated 12/1/2007 10:25:46 PM ET 2007-12-02T03:25:46

A college student accused of shoving a pumpkin pie into the face of a shopping-mall Santa Claus has been charged with misdemeanor assault.

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Clint Westwood, 22, said he "lightly smooshed" the pie into the man's face Wednesday and shouted, "What do you think of that, Santa?"

Westwood, a drama student at the University of Montana, was charged Friday. He said he videotaped the encounter and plans to include the clip in an upcoming film.

He said that after the pie ruckus, he expected to approach Santa for a signature on a film-release form, but police arrived first.

"It's a good thing he didn't wait around, because I think Santa would have laid him out," said Sgt. Travis Welsh of the Missoula Police Department.

Westwood said he and companions had waited for a girl about 15 years old to finish sitting on Santa's lap before the pie hit his face, "but then we just decided it would be funnier if she was still sitting there."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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