Saturday evening, right before 7 p.m., a man dressed as Elmo was accused of groping a 14-year-old.
The New York Post reports that the incident occurred Broadway near West 46th Street.
It is being reported that a group traveling from out of state, approached a man dressed up as an Elmo for a photo and during the picture, Elmo allegedly grabbed the girl’s behind.
The teen told her guardians, and they spoke to NYPD about the incident.
The man in this Elmo costume has been identified as Inocente Andrade-Pacheco, 54, of Passaic, New Jersey. He was arrested by police and charged with forcible touching and “acting in a manner injurious to a child” according to ABC.
ABC reported that Aldrada-Pacheco denied the allegation via his Legal Aid lawyer and was released without bail. Prosecutors asked for $7,500 bail throughout the arraignment.
Handsy costumed characters have been an issue in Times Square for years, with multiple reports of assault, forcible touching and other aggressive behavior, like demanding “tips.”
The incidents have ranged from one Elmo who launched into an anti-Semitic tirade, to a Cookie Monster who allegedly shoved a young child, to countless other characters sexually assaulting women.
Even though there was a 2016 law restricting the “street performers” to specific areas of Times Square, that has yet to stop them, as they are known to draw passersby from outside their designated zones.
A study by the Times Square Alliance shows that locals and tourists both loathe the costumed characters, almost as much as the congestion in Times Square.
The study also estimates that somewhere between 120,000 and 160,000 people get touched without consent in Times Square in one year-long period. The research shows that 47 percent of folks have had an unpleasant interaction with costumed characters.
If you or someone you know has an issue in Times Square, call (212) 452- 5218 or email Streetwatch@TimesSquareNYC.org.