This just in from the "you can't make this stuff up" department, the "Evil Elmo" who made the news last year when he was arrested after going on an anti-semitic rant in Central Park, is now in trouble for trying to extort the Girl Scouts.
Yeah. Just let that sink in a moment. Elmo has been arrested for extorting Girl Scouts.
The Elmo in question is, of course, not the real Elmo. He is homeless New Yorker Dan Sandler (though he sometimes goes by the name Adam Sandler). Sandler is accused of trying to extort the Girl Scouts out of $2 million. Sandler, 49, allegedly began harassing a Girl Scout supervisor last year with threatening emails and voicemails. He demanded that the Girl Scouts give him either a $150,000 telecommute job "from home of life" (by which he presumably meant "from home for life") or a one-time $2 million payout.
Normally when someone makes that sort of demand, they have some sort of leverage to bargain with. So what, you may ask, was Sandler's bargaining chip? What did he offer the Girl Scouts in exchange for all this money? He promised not to make false allegations about sexual abuse in the Girl Scouts organization. It seems that he considered himself famous enough to be able to spread such rumors through "the press, on the Internet, and on u-tube."
Sandler was arrested on May 9 in San Francisco. After last year's arrest - for which he served a day of community service - he packed up his Elmo suit and took his show to the west coast. He was arraigned today in New York on charges of grand larceny and more, to which he pleaded not guilty. His bail was set at $200,000. Sandler's attorney argued for a lower bail, saying that his client had never posed a real threat to the Girl Scouts, and that Sandler had "mental health issues."
And on the off chance you've read this far and question whether Sandler really does have mental health issues, here's a video of him in Times Square last year, in costume and ranting about Jews and illegal immigrants.