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Spider-Man was acquitted Wednesday on charges of attempted assault in a February 2013 scuffle with a mother who refused to pay him for posing with her children in New York City’s Times Square. Instead, the New York Post reports the judge found the wall-crawler guilty of the lesser charge of harassment.
Echoing J. Jonah Jameson, Assistant District Attorney Andrew Stengel argued that Spider-Man (aka Philip Williams) is a menace to tourists. “Spider -Man’s motto is, ’With great power, comes great responsibility,’” he said. “The defendant is more supervillain than superhero, spinning a web.”
Although Stengel lobbied for Williams to be sentenced to 15 days in jail, Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Anthony Ferrara opted for time served, but advised the defendant to watch himself.
Williams, one of a handful of wall-crawlers operating in Times Square, was accused of punching Victoria Goreaciuc after she refused to tip him. However, his attorney argued that Williams only struck Goreaciuc after she hit him with a snowball because he called her a “piece of crap.”
“Mr. Williams is not Spider-Man, he doesn’t have Spidey’s sense, no bullet -proof costume or superhuman powers,” defense lawyer Rachel Black insisted. “He’s just a human being who believed physical force was being used against him and he acted in self defense.”
Goreaciuc testified Monday in a pre-trial hearing, identifying Williams by the smell of his costume, which was presented as evidence. In glorious New York Post fashion, the tabloid conducted its own “superhero-odor survey” in Times Square.: “One stinky Spidey lingered in a fog of his own musk at Broadway and 42nd Street — putting forth a distinct melange of cheap deodorant, body odor and stale musk. Despite this, he was demanding that people pay for the privilege of standing next to him for photos.”