Which of these Elmos is not like the others? Elmo is a beloved Sesame Street character, and his likeness tickles tourists in the pedestrian plazas of Times Square who want shots with the famous giggly persona. (If you're not familiar with the cuddly puppet, check out the video clip above.)
But recently, Elmo impersonators and visitors alike had been tormented by a bad Elmo.
The furious man in the furry red costume spewed anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant invective, often turning his fury on fellow Elmo impersonators. Luis, a 25-year-old Elmo impersonator from Peru, told the New York Times, "He would stop and say that we were all illegal immigrants and that people shouldn't have their photos taken with us."
On Monday, the potty-mouthed man in an Elmo suit was hauled out of Central Park by police and then carted away in an ambulance. His name was withheld and he was not arrested, according to the Times.
He was taken to Metropolitan Hospital Center for a psychological evaluation. But not before he was caught on tape delivering an obscenity-filled rant. His fellow Elmos said they recognized him, and that he was often at their spot in the Times Square pedestrian plazas, harassing with his offending remarks anyone within earshot.
It's impossible to tell whether the caught-on-tape Elmo impersonator is the same one who has been seen in Times Square, but it's probably a good bet. (You can watch the incident, but be warned: The language is offensive.)
The hope is that the police action could give mean Elmo enough of a scare to stay away from the nice Muppets. As he was taken away, onlookers applauded.
- Politics & Government