Street performers are just a part of daily life in Times Square. The performers dress in various costumes and put on a show for a few bucks. It may not be glorious, but hey, it’s a living. That being said, it’s really not cool to use your job as a street performer to start groping people, especially when you’re dressed as an iconic game character.
The Daily News reports that Damon Torress, 34, was dressed up as Mario at Times Square when he was caught touching the thigh of a 58-year-old woman. A security guard at the scene said he “walked up to her and touched her private parts.” The police arrested him soon after and charged him with forcible touching and unlawful possession of marijuana.
This isn’t the first time that a street performer dressed as a children’s icon has found themselves on the wrong side of the law. Earlier this year, a performer dressed as Elmo was kicked out of Central Park for spouting anti-semitic slurs. Funny or depressingly enough, depending on who you ask, the performer shares a name with Adam Sandler.
There’s no law barring street performers in New York City as long as they aren’t obstructing traffic or selling goods. Many citizens feel that the city should ban them though. Speaking to the Daily News, one street vendor, Betty Ford, said that street performers are “always putting their hands on you.” She then said that the “pollice should keep them all out.”
Costumed street performers are great, but you should probably stick to the mimes and music performers. Guys in mascot suits are already kind of creepy, even at a “safe” place like Disney World, but there’s nothing stopping them from getting a handful on the streets of a busy place like New York City.