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Although New York City had hoped to enlist Disney and Marvel in a crackdown on troublesome costumed characters in Times Square, the police commissioner insists the entertainment giants “want no part of it.”
The New York Daily News reports that Police Commissioner Bill Bratton singled out the two companies for refusing to take action against the performers — long a thorn in the sides of local businesses and politicians — for unlicensed use of their trademarks.
It might be tempting to dismiss this video of Spider-Man brawling with a guy in front of Toys R Us as a misguided viral-marketing stunt, but a quick check of the address will confirms it’s merely another day at Times Square.
There are conflicting accounts of what spurred the wall-crawler into action on Tuesday: His opponent, who reportedly works at a nearby ice cream truck, insists the not-so-friendly neighborhood Spider-Man came out swinging after being confronted about harassing tourists for tips.
Longtime arch-enemies, Batman and The Joker faced off once more on Wednesday, only this time about a plan to require Times Square’s costumed characters to be licensed.
Wearing makeup and a red suit embellished with black bats, the Clown Prince of Crime told New York City Council’s Consumer Affairs Committee that the bill amounts to “fascism.”
“I might look like a clown but I’m speaking from the heart,” the New York Daily News quote The Joker, aka Keith Albahae, as saying. “I do this from my heart and not for tips. OK, I do ask for tips. And many people are glad to give them, but this is about the First Amendment and this is about discrimination. This straight-up seems like fascism.”
CBS New York reports that Batman and Spider-Man were arrested Saturday night in Times Square after they allegedly teamed up to do battle with a shared nemesis: a heckler.
Police say the fight began at 44th Street and Broadway when 23-year-old Thomas Rorke of Breezy Point taunted the dynamic duo, who responded not with batarangs and spider-webbing but with fists. Rorke was reportedly struck numerous times, suffering injuries to his face. The costumed heroes claim they were hit as well.
In the end, NYPD arrested Rorke as well as Batman (aka 41-year-old Jose Martinez) and Spider-Man (aka 35-year-old Abdel Elkahezai). They were charged with misdemeanor assault and spent the night in jail.
Times Square has witnessed its share of costumed crime, mostly recently in late July, when a man dressed as Miles Morales was arrested in a scuffle with police. It’s become such a problem that the Times Square Alliance has called for regulation of the costumed characters, and New York City Council is considering a bill that would require licenses and background checks.
With a front page that rivals anything J. Jonah Jameson has published, the New York Post trumpeted the news Sunday that Spider-Man struck a police officer in the face during an altercation in Times Square. Or, if you prefer “Times Square rampage.”
Interestingly, after countless crimes (allegedly, in some cases) committed in the past couple of years by guys dressed as the Peter Parker-variety Spider-Man — groping a woman, punching a tourist, robbing convenience stores, fighting two Captains America, etc. — this may be the first that involves someone dressed as Miles Morales/Ultimate Spider-Man.
Perhaps more interesting — and certainly more amusing — is that the New York Police Department referred the suspect, 25-year-old Junior Bishop of Brooklyn, as “Spider-Man” throughout its press release. Also: The incident was caught on video, which you can watch below. (Note: It contains profanity.)