April 9, 2013
A man in a Cookie Monster outfit was arrested in Times Square and accused of pushing 2-year-old Samay Kurada.
Osvaldo Quiroz-Lopez, 33, from Queens, N.Y., was charged with endangering a child, reckless endangerment, and aggressive begging in a public place, according to police.
“Even without my permission, he just comes and picks up Samay,” Samay’s mother, Parmita Kurada, from Stamford, Conn., told ABC affiliate WABC.
After Kurada’s son posed for a picture with the costumed character, Quiroz-Lopez allegedly cursed and screamed at Kurada, while her husband left them to go to an ATM to tip Quiroz-Lopez for the photo.
The situation escalated when Quiroz-Lopez apparently pushed the stroller and shoved the toddler.
“Even when he’s screaming and yelling at me, all I was saying was, ‘Why are you doing this?’” Kurada told WABC. ”‘I said I’m giving you money.’”
Quiroz-Lopez was arraigned in court on Monday, and his bail was set at $1,000, according to the Manhattan district attorney’s office. He has since been released.
“Why be so rude for a dollar or two?” Kurada said. “It’s just shocking.”
Quiroz-Lopez’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Sesame Workshop was unable to comment at this time.
When asked if he liked Cookie Monster, Samay Kurada told WABC, “No. I like Elmo.
“[Cookie Monster] gave me ‘boo-boo.’”
It’s not the first time the cartoon impersonators have been acting out of character. In September, Adam Sandler was arrested in Central Park dressed as Elmo, after he went on an anti-Semitic rant.
Another man, Damon Torres, was charged with forcible touching in December. A woman accused Torres of groping her in Times Square while he was wearing a Super Mario Brother costume.