May 2, 2013

Times Square Cookie Monster rejects plea deal

The Associated Press

NEW YORK — A man who dresses up as Cookie Monster in Times Square turned down a plea deal in a New York City case accusing him of shoving a 2-year-old after the child's mother refused to tip the man.

click image to enlarge

An Elmo character, left, uses a woman's camera to photograph her with a Cookie Monster character in New York's Times Square recently. A string of arrests in the last few months has brought unwelcome attention to the growing number of people, mostly poor immigrants, who make a living by donning character outfits, roaming Times Square and charging tourists a few dollars to pose with them in photos.

The Associated Press

Osvaldo Quiroz-Lopez is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

The Daily News says the plea deal would have let him off with two years of anger management counseling and two days of community service.

Quiroz-Lopez turned down the offer Wednesday after prosecutors said he would have to plead guilty to the charge.

He was arrested April 7. Police say he demanded $2 from a Connecticut family that posed with him for a photo. According to a criminal complaint, he shoved the toddler and yelled obscenities at the family.

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