A Times Square Spider-Man and a tourist from Virginia were arrested this weekend after they allegedly brawled over a promised tip. And Batman was there to witness the whole thing: "The police are getting it wrong," witness Jose Escalona, who was dressed as Batman at the time and captured the fight on video, told the Post. "The [tourist] was the aggressor. We are not the bad apples."
Police say that the incident happened Saturday afternoon near 45th Street and Broadway. Spider-Man, aka 37-year-old Abdelamine El-Khezzan, was taking photos with a Virginia couple plus their four children. Escalona said that El-Khezzan told the couple "when we’re done with the picture, we work for tips" and they agreed, but when they were done, they claimed to be out of money.
Cops say that El-Khezzan then kicked the mother, and Escalona said he yelled, "You lied to me! You’re not supposed to do that. You have kids with you. You’re not supposed to teach that!" Tourist Rodney Merrill, 55, then threatened to "fuck up" Spider-Man, and allegedly punched him in the face. Here's a description of the confrontation based on the video of it:
At that point, the tourist, clad in a Washington Nationals baseball cap and T-shirt, squared off, with Spidey saying, “Take the first shot.” And the tourist did.
In a bizarre sequence, Spider-Man then throws a flurry of phantom punches that don’t land, erupts in a series of Kung-Fu-like moves and then shimmies up a light pole like a, um, spider.
“Justice is served! I got him!” he exclaimed.
Both El-Khezzan and Merrill were arrested and charged with assault.
This was the third incident involving a Times Square Spider-Man this month: 26-year-old Junior Bishop was arrested on March 17th for throwing folding chairs at tourists (Bishop was previously arrested while dressed as The Incredible Hulk for shouting “obscenities” at a police officer).
Another Spider-Man, whose real name wasn't released, was issued a summons for aggressive panhandling after he allegedly grabbed and roughly handled a 13-year-old boy over his tip on March 1st.
And in a separate incident, yet another Spider-Man was cited for wearing underoos in public.