Times Square characters behaving badly? - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Times Square characters behaving badly?

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

A beautiful day like brings all the characters out in Times Square: Elmo, Mickey, Batman, Spider-Man, and the list goes on.

Tim Tompkins of the Times Square Alliance said 52 of them were out there on Saturday and that a certain number of them are going to be creepy.

Forget creepy. Some of the characters are becoming violent. On Sunday, cops arrested Osvoldo Quiroz-Lopez who donned a cookie monster costume and then allegedly shoved a 2-year-old boy when his mother didn't pony up a tip right away after snapping a photo. He is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

The Times Square Alliance provided Fox 5 with a compilation video of costumed characters acting indecently. Among the incidents caught on tape: a man dressed as Elmo on an anti-Semitic rant and another Elmo refusing to release a child until the tip is paid.

The issue is how to deal with it? The characters classify themselves as street performers and so are protected by first amendment rights.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg said the city's hands are tied.

"You have a right to dress anyway you want," he said. "It's very hard to enforce any laws, to have laws that prohibit that kind of behavior; we try to watch it as much as we can." 

Not everyone wants Elmo run out of town. Some visitors and tourists said the characters are fun. 

And the people inside the suits and behind the masks say a few bad guys are giving them all a bad name.

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