NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – The man accused of shoving a 2-year-old boy while dressed as Cookie Monster has turned down a plea deal.
Osvaldo Quiroz-Lopez, 33, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child. He was arrested on April 7 after police said he got into a confrontation with a Connecticut family in Times Square after the mother refused to tip him for taking a photo with him.
The plea deal would have let Quiroz-Lopez off with two years of anger management counseling and two days of community service, according to the New York Daily News.
He turned down the offer on Wednesday after prosecutors said he would have to plead guilty to the charge.
According to a criminal complaint, he shoved the toddler and yelled obscenities at the family.
“He just kept getting closer to me, and then he started getting very loud; very abusive. He started cursing me,” said Parmita Kurada, the boy’s mother, shortly after the incident.
Confrontations between ostensibly cuddly characters and visitors in Times Square have been happening with some frequency in recent months. In December, a performer dressed as a Super Mario Brother was accused of groping a woman.
In another well-publicized incident, Philip Williams, 35, was accused of punching a woman in the face while in a Spider-Man costume after the woman said she didn’t have any money to pay for a photo with her children.
City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. has proposed a crackdown on costumed characters to prevent similar incidents in the future.
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