- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 10, 2014

The New York City Police Department is warning tourists that they’re not obligated to pay costumed characters, who have become notorious for harassing, and in some case assaulting, sightseers who refuse to tip them.

“PHOTOS WITH COSTUMED CHARACTERS ARE FREE. TIPPING IS OPTIONAL,” read fliers that the department has started handing out in Times Square, a local CBS affiliate reported.

The flier is in five different languages and instructs anyone who has complaints to talk to a police officer or call 911.

The move comes weeks after the New York City Council said it was considering legislation that would require licenses and background checks for costumed characters in Times Square, which have been involved in a series of violent incidents in the last few years.

A woman dressed as Minnie Mouse told the news station that she and others like her are just trying to make a living.

“That’s no good,” she said of the fliers. “They no work for free, right? This is job, you know.”