New York News
Cookie Monster arrested for child endangerment in Times Square
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Late afternoon, early evening is prime time for those very recognizable and life size cartoon characters in Times Square to make their money.
But after some unsettling encounters there are now calls to regulate these characters.
You know the ones, those cartoon characters cozying up to unsuspecting tourists in hopes that keepsake photo opp will garner them a tip. Not bad work if you don't mind spending a warm day in a furry costume.
But when Parmita Kurada says her family apparently didn't come up with tip money fast enough "Cookie Monster" launched into a foul-mouthed tirade.
"He cursed the kids, both of them and I was shocked," she said.
The character 33-year old Quiroz Lopez arrested and charged with endangerment and aggressive begging.
But after receiving other complaints of unpleasant encounters with characters, the Times Square alliance began monitoring them.
"Last Saturday we counted 52 of these characters out there," said Tim Tompkins.
The list continues to grow as the weather warms and tourists swarm to Times Square for that unforgettable photo opp.
"We've had people getting punched. We've had kids being held onto until the guy gets a tip. We've had anti-semitic and homophobic rants. So it's a real problem that really needs to be addressed," adds Tompkins.
Many of them, just rent the costume and seeks tips after the a picture is taken. There are suggestions to regulate this not so comic trade including have them show their real faces.
new york city, times square, child endangerment, new york news, tim fleischer
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