Cookie Monster was arrested by New York City police after it was alleged that he shoved a two-year-old boy during a fight with his mother yesterday.
Incredibly, the altercation did not result from the disputed ownership of a cookie.
Instead, it was because the mother refused to give Cookie Monster two dollars (which he would have used to purchase cookies, presumably).
You see, this particular incarnation of Cookie Monster is one of many glorified panhandlers who have taken to the most tourist-infested streets of New York recently. On any given day, you can find characters like Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh and Hello Kitty in Times Square, posing for photos with tourists.
Once a photo is taken, the characters typically demand to be paid.
That’s exactly what happened in this incident. Osvaldo Quiroz-Lopez was dressed as the iconic blue creature with a serious eating disorder and he allegedly demanded payment of $2 after posing for a photo with a young boy on Sunday afternoon.
The boy’s mother refused to pay up — perhaps she was unaware that there would be a charge for the photo, as many tourists are — and she got into an argument with Quiroz-Lopez.
During the argument, the two-year-old boy was allegedly shoved by Quiroz-Lopez. Quiroz-Lopez, 33, has been charged with assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
Tourists have been advised to steer clear of the characters in Times Square, as they can be very aggressive.
Just last year, a man dressed as Elmo was caught on camera spouting a number of nonsensical and racist rants: