A weekend incident in which a man dressed as Spider-Man allegedly punched a New York Police Department officer in the face has some calling for tighter regulation of costumed street performers in the area. Junior Bishop, the man in the Spider-Man costume, was one of five masked characters arrested in Times Square in separate incidents last weekend.
Bishop, 25, of Brooklyn “allegedly punched an officer in the face after a dispute with a woman over a tip,” reports CBS 2 New York. “Investigators said an officer overheard Bishop refuse a woman’s $1 tip after posing for a picture, telling her he only accepts $5s, $10s or $20s. Police said when the officer told the woman she can donate whatever she wants, Bishop began to yell, curse and argue. When Bishop didn’t have any identification, the officer tried to arrest him, police said. That’s when Bishop broke free and punched the officer in the face, police said. Additional cops arrived on the scene and were able to take Bishop into custody, police said.
“He was arrested and arraigned Sunday on charges of assault, criminal mischief, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct,” CBS 2 reports. “Bail was set at $3,500.”
The Times Square Alliance wants costumed street performers to be licensed, issuing a statement saying the Spider-Man incident was “yet another reminder that many, though certainly not all, of these so-called friendly characters are actually violent and aggressive and have troubling criminal records.”
According to CBS 2, “Four other characters were also arrested Saturday for disorderly conduct and aggressive panhandling, police said.”
“Bishop is the fourth Spider-Man arrested in Times Square in the last two years. In late June, a different Spider-Man was arrested for allegedly groping a New Yorker. In that same week, a completely different Spider-Man was convicted of harassing a woman in a Times Square spat,” CBS 2 reports.
“There also have been recent reports of a brawl between two Statues of Liberty and a man dressed as Woody from ‘Toy Story’ allegedly groping women,” according to CBS 2. “In April 2013, a man dressed as Cookie Monster was charged with endangering the welfare of a child after allegedly shoving a 2 1/2-year-old boy.”