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Arrested ‘Spider-Man’ Says Costumed Characters Make Times Square What It Is

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 28:  Costumed street performers pose with tourists for tips in Times Square on July 28, 2014 in New York City. In the latest incident involving the often aggressive characters, a man dressed as Spider-Man allegedly punched an officer in the face over the weekend following a dispute with a woman over a tip, police have said. The Times Square Alliance is now calling for strict licensing of costumed street performers.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 28: Costumed street performers pose with tourists for tips in Times Square on July 28, 2014 in New York City. In the latest incident involving the often aggressive characters, a man dressed as Spider-Man allegedly punched an officer in the face over the weekend following a dispute with a woman over a tip, police have said. The Times Square Alliance is now calling for strict licensing of costumed street performers. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A costumed Spider-Man accused of slugging a police officer in Times Square says its superhero and comic characters are key ingredients of the flavor of the Crossroads of the World.

Junior Bishop spoke after a brief, procedural court appearance Thursday. He said Times Square’s costumed characters, ticket agents and others who interact with passers-by “make it what it is.”

He says children enjoy seeing him and other costumed figures, and “it’s all positive.”

Bishop was arrested Saturday on assault and other charges.

According to authorities, the police officer was standing at his post at West 42nd Street and Broadway when he witnessed a male, identified as 25-year-old Junior Bishop, dressed as Spider-Man take a photo with a man and woman.

The woman then tried to give Bishop a dollar tip, which he allegedly refused. Police said the crime-fighting hero then put out his hand and told the woman he only accepts $5, $10, or $20.

Overhearing the exchange, the police officer told the woman she can donate whatever she wants. At which point, Bishop told the officer to “Mind your own (expletive) business,” police said.

Authorities said Bishop continued to yell, curse and argue after the officer told him that while he may accept tips, he was not allowed to request money.

After the officer requested identification and Bishop could not provide any, he was placed under arrest, police said.

The incident comes on the heels of several other arrests of characters in Times Square and has strengthened the push for the characters to be regulated.

In late June, a different Spider-Man was arrested for allegedly groping a New Yorker. In that same week, a completely different Spider-Man was convicted of harassing a woman in a Times Square spat.

There was also a recent reported brawl between two Statues of Liberty, a man dressed as Woody from “Toy Story” who was accused of forcibly groping women, and in April of 2013 a man dressed as the Cookie Monster was charged with endangering the welfare of a child after allegedly shoving a 2 1/2-year-old boy.

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