Cops: 'Spider-Man' slugged officer in Times Square

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Spider-Man Arrest Could Spur Times Square Performer Rules

By MICHAEL R. SISAK

NEW YORK (AP) - A man dressed as Spider-Man was arrested on charges he slugged a police officer who told him to stop harassing tourists in Times Square.

Junior Bishop, 25, of Brooklyn, was charged with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and criminal mischief.

The New York Police Department said the officer assaulted Saturday - an 18-month veteran and one of about 50 officers patrolling the bustling tourist area - stepped in after Bishop demanded at least $5 from a woman he posed for a picture with, instead of the $1 tip she offered.

Police said a costumed Bishop "put out his hand and told the woman 5s, 10s or 20s only." Police said the officer told him he could only accept tips - not require payment.

Bishop yelled and cursed at the officer, police said, and told him: "Mind your own (expletive) business."

Police said the officer asked for identification and, when Bishop failed to produce any, moved to arrest him.

Bishop broke free and punched the officer in the face, police said, causing a cut and eye swelling.

The officer, whose name was not released, was treated and released at New York University's Langone Medical Center.

Other officers arrived and hauled Spider-Man away.

Bishop's mother answered the phone at their Brooklyn home late Saturday and said he was not home. She said she was not aware of his work in Times Square or his arrest. Information on Bishop's lawyer was not available.

The arrest of Spider-Man, as police referred to Bishop throughout a matter-of-fact news release, came weeks after the New York City Council said it was considering legislation to regulate the costumed characters in Times Square.

It was the latest in a series of incidents involving men behind the masks.

In the last two years, a man dressed as Cookie Monster was charged with shoving a 2-year-old, a person attired in Super Mario's overalls was accused of groping a woman and an Elmo figure pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after unleashing an anti-Semitic tirade.

Last month a different Spider-Man was convicted of harassment for a February 2013 episode in which he cursed and complained that a woman did not tip him after posing for a photograph with her children. Phillip Williams later punched the woman in the face and knocked her to the ground - out of self-defense, he said - after she hurled snow at him.

The bill under City Council consideration would require licenses and background checks for costumed performers but copyright issues have held up final approval, since most of the costume wearers are not authorized by the characters' owners.

Police Commissioner William Bratton last week endorsed the measure to combat what he called Times Square's "Elmo issues."

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Cops: 'Spider-Man' slugged officer in Times Square
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 09: People dressed in various famous character costumes, who pose for photos with people for money, talk in Times Square on April 9, 2014 in New York City. The iconic New York City intersection of of Broadway and Seventh Ave., was christened 'Times Square' 110 years ago after New York City Mayor George B. McClellan signed a resolution to change the name from Long Acre Square. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Costumed characters gather on a corner August 20, 2013 in New York's Times Square as they try to attract attention of tourists who want to pose for photographs with them. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - In this April 9, 2013 file photo, a Super Mario character, left, uses a woman's mobile phone camera to photograph her with a pair of Elmo characters in New York's Times Square. A New York City Council member is drafting legislation to regulate the costumed characters who roam Times Square. The bill being proposed by Councilman Dan Garodnick would require that the costumed performers be licensed and go through a background check. There have been a number of troublesome incidents involving costumed figures who try to make a living by charming tourists. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
A costumed street busker holds See's Chocolate Caramel lollypops in Times Square as See's Candies prepares to celebrate National Lollypop Day, Wednesday, July 17, 2013, in New York. National Lollypop Day is observed on Saturday, July 20. (Photo by John Minchillo/Invision for See's Candies/AP Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 09: A person dressed in a 'Hello Kitty' costume attempts to have her photo taken with a boy for money Times Square on April 9, 2014 in New York City. The iconic New York City intersection of of Broadway and Seventh Ave., was christened 'Times Square' 110 years ago after New York City Mayor George B. McClellan signed a resolution to change the name from Long Acre Square. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
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