The NYPD continues its crackdown on Times Square's fake superheroes and cartoons, arresting two Iron Men, an Elmo, and a Spider-Man over the weekend on disorderly conduct charges. Police were handing out fliers Saturday informing tourists, "Photos with costumed characters are free. Tipping is optional."
According to the New York Post, Spider-Man impersonator William Suarez, 32, was also charged by police with aggressive panhandling, allegedly grabbing someone to pose for a photo. One Iron Man—Javier Hernandez, 37—and Elmo—Jose Maria, 25—are being held until their arraignment. The other Iron Man, Khalid Lahmadi, 40, was released on a summons.
Saturday's crackdown was dubbed "Operation Character Flaw" by the NYPD, the Wall Street Journal reports. The increasing number of incidents involving the Times Square costumed characters have led to calls for regulation.