For a creature with a notorious sweet tooth, Cookie Monster sure likes salty language. Osvaldo Quiroz-Lopez, a.k.a. the Times Square Cookie Monster, was arrested after shoving a two-year-old on Sunday. The surreal incident was sparked after Bollywood star Parmita Kurada (formerly Parmita Katkar) was slow to tip Quiroz-Lopez when her son Samay appeared in a photo with the Monster. According to the criminal complaint, he cursed at Kurada and "repeatedly asked for money while yelling and screaming" for an entire minute, saying 'you are a bitch, your son is a bastard and your stuff is trash.' " Police say Quiroz-Lopez then shoved the toddler, "causing her son to lose his balance and nearly fall to the ground."
Kurada was en route to Toys 'R' Us with her husband and two sons to buy a bicycle when they got sidetracked by Cookie Monster, Elmo, and Puss in Boots. “The next thing I know, Cookie Monster had already picked up my son and was like, ‘Come on, take a picture!’ ” Kurada tells the Daily News. After the photo, Quiroz-Lopez demanded money, and became increasingly impatient while Kurada's husband went to find an ATM. "(The monster) was right next to me saying, ‘Come on, come on! Give me the money!’ ” Kurada says. “I was getting scared. I thought he was going to attack me or he was going to hit me."
Finally, Quiroz-Lopez allegedly snapped. “I don’t know if he pushed the stroller or Samay, but the next thing I knew, Samay was startled and on the ground," Kurada tells the Post. When her husband returned to find Samay in tears—yelling "I don’t like Cookie Monster! I don’t like Cookie Monster!"—he went and got the police. After reviewing a video of the altercation, police arrested Quiroz-Lopez, charging with him reckless endangerment, endangering the welfare of a child and aggressive begging in a public place. Bail was set at $1,000.
But according to the Post, the "costumed gang" in Times Square wasn't done shaking down Kurada's family yet. No sooner was the Cookie Monster in cuffs than Dora the Explorer also asked for money. Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, tells the tabloids, "(Some) hold onto kids until they get their tip. Everybody’s concerned about this, and they’re trying to find a thoughtful way to respond that respects free speech and addresses real concerns about public safety."
At his arraignment yesterday, Quiroz-Lopez's boyfriend insisted his boyfriend is no monster: "I’ve lived with him for seven years. He’s not that guy. He’s been doing [work as Cookie Monster] for three years. Never a problem.” But he's got a lot of work to do if he's going to turn public opinion around. ABC 7 stopped by the Kuradas' Connecticut home last night and asked Samay if he still liked Cookie Monster. He declared, "No. Not anymore. I like Elmo." Yeah, good old Elmo.