Minnie Mouse, Cookie Monster and Olaf Arrested for Harassing Man in Times Square | NBC New York

Minnie Mouse, Cookie Monster and Olaf Arrested for Harassing Man in Times Square



    Cookie Monster, Minnie Mouse and Olaf are the latest costume characters to be rounded up in Times Square. All three are accused of harassing a tourist for cash. It's just the latest in a string of problems involving performers at the popular tourist destination. Checkey Beckford reports. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016)

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    Minnie Mouse, Cookie Monster and Olaf from the film “Frozen” became the latest costumed characters to be arrested in Times Square after a cop allegedly saw them harassing a man for money.

    The three colorful characters posed with the man on Sunday, but things turned south quickly when they allegedly started following him and demanding cash.

    At one point the characters even blocked the man’s path and insisted that he pay them $20. The intimidated tourist handed over $10, according to police.

    That’s when an NYPD officer stepped in and arrested the three characters for harassment.

    The characters are popular with tourists, who flock to them for photos all year round. 

    “They’re so cute. Yeah, I love the costume,” Chinese tourist Tristy Huang said.

    But they’ve been involved in numerous squabbles over the years. Minnie Mouse, Cookie Monster and Olaf are just the latest masked characters to be arrested for behaving badly.

    “That’s kind of shocking,” NYC resident Lauren Stegland said.

    Spider-Man duked it out with an ice cream truck vendor last August after the vendor warned tourists that he had hassled others for money. The brawl outside Toys "R" Us was caught on camera.

    Woody, Minnie Mouse, the Statue of Liberty,Batman and Elmo are just a few of the characters that have been arrested in Times Square over the last couple of years.

    Last August, Mayor de Blasio assigned a multiagency city task force to address what he called the "growing problem" of topless, painted women and costumed characters in Times Square and said that one option under consideration is removing the famed intersection's pedestrian plazas. In the meantime, plainclothes NYPD officers have been patrolling the square to combat aggressive characters.

    Lisette Gill, of Manhattan, said she has felt pressured by the characters before, but that people just have to stand their ground when approached. 

    “They wanted $5 each, and he was like, ‘Come on, give me more.’ I’m like, ‘I don’t have any more, sorry.’”

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