A New Jersey man who dresses up as Super Mario in Times Square and charges tourists for photos was arrested last night for allegedly groping a woman. According to the NYPD, 34-year-old Damon Torres of North Bergen, N.J. grabbed an unidentified 58-year-old woman in Times Square and then
jumped really high into the air walked away. She reported the incident to a Times Square Alliance Security Guard, and Torres was quickly arrested. He was charged with forcible touching and marijuana possession. (We're guessing he ate the mushrooms prior to his arrest.)
“He walked up to her and touched her private parts,’’ the security guard tells the Daily News. “She said she had similar encounters with the character. She said she was offended.” One street vendor who works in Times Square says she wasn't surprised. "They’re always putting their hands on you,” she tells the News. "Half of them are drunk. The police should keep them all out." Time to call in the giant turtles.
Another street vendor concurs, calling them “nothing but bums in costumes. They should get real jobs. I can’t believe people let them near their kids.” Indeed, earlier this year a man who dresses up as Elmo was arrested in Times Square for harassing tourists and yelling anti-Semitic comments while in costume. And in December 2011, the NYPD issued summons to the costumed characters, but they were ultimately allowed to continue gathering in Times Square and collecting tips.