- The Washington Times - Monday, June 23, 2014

Costumed characters are running amok in New York City, and Times Square officials have decided more regulations are needed to curb their bad behavior.

“In the last 10 days alone, we’ve seen two Statues of Liberty arrested, a Spider-Man convicted of harassing a tourist, and now a third character arrested for groping a woman in Times Square,” said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, a coalition of government officials and local business owners, CBS’s New York affiliate reported.

“The situation is out of control and a licensing and regulatory scheme must be put in place,” he added.

Moussa Rabaoui, a 22-year-old Spider-Man character, was charged Friday with misdemeanor forcible touching after he was accused of grabbing a woman’s breasts and buttocks.

Just two days earlier, Phillip Williams, another Spider-Man character, was convicted of harassing a woman in Times Square.

Mr. Tompkins previously called for regulations in January after a man dressed as “Woody” from the movie “Toy Story” was arrested on sex abuse charges, CNN reported. And last year, a Cookie Monster allegedly shoved a child.

While Mr. Tompkins is recommending restrictions, he stressed that he doesn’t want a complete ban. Instead, he seeks to establish a licensing system — including background checks — for characters in disguise, the Huffington Post reported.

“Quirky in Times Square is OK, creepy is not,” he said.



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