After Spider-Man a.k.a. Junior Bishop was arrested Saturday afternoon for assaulting a police officer, five more Times Square performers were arrested. “They’re like little terrorists preying on all the tourists,” a police source sneered to the Post.
Like subway panhandlers and "SHOWTIME" dancers before them, costumed characters in Times Square are now the subject of a police "crackdown," the municipal equivalent of guzzling Emergen-C mid-flu.
The arrested characters included Captain America, Jessie from Toy Story, and another Spider-Man. Hortencia Alagia, 42, and Luis Salinas, 20, were charged with disorderly conduct. Two others, Jeanmark Banga, 36, and Wilmar Suarez, 30, were charged with aggressive panhandling.
Titus Gandy, who plays Naked Black Cowboy, was also arrested on an open warrant and for cocaine possession after he visited Bishop at the precinct. “I think the police are great,” Gandy told the tabloid. “They haven’t done anything to me. I like to keep to myself and do my job.”
The Daily News reports that Bishop pleaded guilty to assaulting the officer, but couldn't afford bail. His attorney told the judge that he works for a bus company and lives with his mother and grandmother, just another member of New York City's burgeoning working poor.
But what a great lede! "This Spider-Man isn’t amazing enough to come up with $3,500 bail."
The Times Square Alliance, which recently debated the possibility of regulating the activity of putting on a suit and posing for tips, told CBS that after Bishop's arrest they would in fact call for "rigorous licensing."
In a statement the group said the incident is “yet another reminder that many, though certainly not all, of these so-called friendly characters are actually violent and aggressive and have troubling criminal records.”
Sometimes, standing is a crime.