NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - From not keeping their hands to themselves, to harassing pedestrians, the Naked Ladies of Times Square and the costumed characters that roam the area for tips are up to no good, according to the NY Post.
There are designated areas for the panhandlers who solicit tips for photos but on any given afternoon this summer only half of the two-dozen workers reportedly stayed behind the blue lines.
Instead of issuing summonses or arresting the violators, the Post says police officers often ignore the violators because the panhandlers are often illegals and the de Blasio administration has said it would not target them under the recent crack down by President Donald Trump.
The designated areas were introduced a year ago after several violent incidents including a Spider-Man who wouldn’t let go of a child until the father paid $10 and a Batman who snatched a $50 bill from an Irish tourist’s wallet.
According to the Post, the Times Square Alliance recently observed the designated areas between 45th and 47th streets from 4 to 9 p.m. Twenty costumed characters had 418 character-initiated encounters, 67 percent occurred outside the designated zone. In almost ever interaction, 88 percent, involved the character touching the member of the public.
“They are very aggressive,” Tashay Carter, 30, from Birmingham, Ala., complained to the Post.
“I just encountered that with Cookie Monster. I didn’t want to get a photo, and he or she or whoever it was, they were very aggressive with me.”
A police spokesperson refuted the report to the Post saying “the enforcement data tells a different story. There have been a number of arrests and hundreds of summons issued to costume characters over the past year in Times Square.”