Smelly, Swearing Elmo Back in Times Square

Sleazy Elmo is back in Times Square, pestering tourists and creeping out parents with his awful stench and touchy-feely ways. One tourist told the Daily News, "that furry red thing was too aggressive. I think it swore at me."

Amanda Kelly-Knox was pushing her baby stroller through Hell on Earth this weekend, when the paper caught up with her. Elmo had been gone from Times Square for several months, after the last time the Daily News exposed him. But now he's back! And Kelly-Knox wasn't happy about the aggressive style of the mystery man dressed as Elmo:

I'm just disgusted. The thing is, I don't mind giving a dollar, but that furry red thing was too aggressive. I think it swore at me. I wasn't going to let my daughter anywhere near it. I also think it kind of smelled."

The Daily News asked Elmo — who wouldn't give up his real name, or remove his mask — why he's being so aggressive and demanding money for a picture: "I'm not being rude. Taking an Elmo picture without paying is rude. It's called making a living." Fair enough! Soon after, cops told Elmo to beat it, much to the approval of Batman: "That Elmo isn't age-appropriate. He swears and curses. Times Square was better when he was gone."

It's hard to feel much sympathy, though. What the hell do people expect when they venture into the awfulness of Times Square?

[NYDN; pic]