Street performers have gone wild in New York City and police are near powerless against them because of the city’s sanctuary laws.
The costume characters, who range from superheroes like the Incredible Hulk, Spiderman and Batman to nude women in body paint and even panhandling Donald Trump, have become a nuisance to tourists, even after Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a law in 2016 designed to keep them from harassing the public, the New York Post reported.
That’s because many of the performers are illegal aliens and are off limits to the NYPD.
The Post’s reporters, Stephanie Pagones, Kate Parker and Laura Italiano, witnessed the harassment and assaults first hand.
In one instance reporters watched a group of three characters dressed as Minnie Mouse harass tourists to take a photo with them.
Tim Tompkins, the Times Square Alliance President, told the Post the The Hulk and the three Minnie Mouses are among the most egregious
Tompkins said the Minnie Mouses have their scheme worked out to where one crashes a selfie or runs toward a child with outstretched arms to get a photo and then harass the parents into tipping them.
“Suddenly, there’s three Minnies in your picture,” he said. “And a Batman, and a Spider-Man. And they all want cash. And they’re all outside the zone.
“It’s a total f—ing scam, and it happens thousands of times a week,” Thompson said.
“It’s those same three f—ing Minnie Mouses.”
But it’s not only the Minnie Mouses.
The Post report detailed several cases of costume characters grabbing, touching and harassing tourists and locals into taking pictures and paying them.
Yet in the 12 months since the zones to keep characters in were made, only 220 summonses have been issued, despite the fact that they frequently come out of their zones, the Post reported.
A law enforcement official told the Post that the police officer’s hands are tied because the de Blasio administration does not want the police going after illegal aliens, which most of the characters are, according to the Post.
The law-enforcement source added that past proposals to license the creatures went nowhere because most of the panhandlers are illegal immigrants and they wouldn’t register anyway. Besides, the administration at City Hall isn’t interested in going after illegals in this capacity, the source said.
Peter Donald, a spokesman for the NYPD, disputed the idea that police were not enforcing the laws.
“The enforcement data tells a different story,” he said. “There have been a number of arrests and hundreds of summons issued to costume characters over the past year in Times Square.”
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