crimes and misdemeanors

Yet Another Times Square Spider-Man Arrested

It happened again. For the third time in one year, a man in Spider-Man costume has been arrested in Times Square. (This happens with people dressed up as other characters, too, but something about the Spidey suit seems to encourage bad behavior.) The New York Times reports that the trouble started on Saturday afternoon at around 2 p.m., after a man and a woman offered Spider-Man — a.k.a. Junior Bishop — just one dollar for the privilege of taking a photo with him near Broadway and 42nd Street.

According to the New York Post, Bishop told the couple that he accepts, “Fives, tens, or 20s only.” An unnamed cop standing nearby walked over to remind the picture takers that they were free to pay Bishop whatever they wanted, which is when midtown’s troubled Spider-Man trend intersected with NYPD chief Bill Bratton’s ongoing crackdown on minor crimes. Bishop allegedly shouted, “Fuck you! Mind your own business” at the officer, prompting him to ask Bishop for identification. Bishop said that he didn’t have an ID, and the cop moved to arrest him. Then, according to the police report, “Spider-Man [broke] free from the officer and [punched] him in the face.”

With Elmo, Batman, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and some civilians looking on, the two men wrestled until, with the help of a female cop, the officer managed to pin Bishop to the ground. “Stop resisting bitch!” the officer shouted as he pressed his knee into Bishop’s chest. As people seem to be doing these days, a bystander videotaped the takedown:

Bishop, who, according to the Times, has previously been arrested for “aggressively demanding money from tourists while dressed as a PG-13 character,” was charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, criminal mischief, and disorderly conduct. (The Post says his record includes a total of seven arrests, including one for punching a woman on a train platform.) Meanwhile, Bishop’s costumed comrades told the Post  that the cop (who was treated for facial swelling) is known for being overly aggressive. “He tells people you don’t have to tip [us],” said Batman (a.k.a. José Martinez). Martinez also said that he didn’t see Bishop do anything to prompt the arrest. Still, it seems like a good idea to exercise caution when interacting with Times Square’s superhero population.