Women Charged With Assault After Reported Fight About Tips


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More troubles erupted this week for costumed characters in Times Square, after two women dressed as Minnie Mouse and Hello Kitty allegedly got into a fight.

Pictures showed a woman dressed as Minnie Mouse in handcuffs after a quarrel over tips on Thursday.

Police said when it came time to split the money they received, there was a difference of opinion over what was fair.

The women – identified in published reports Sandra Mocha, 34, and Giovanna Melendez, 40 — were arraigned on reported assault charges on Friday.

Costumed characters in Times Square have made repeated headlines for less-than-wholesome reasons in recent years.

Last year, reports of misbehaving costumed characters prompted numerous calls for regulation.

In November, the City Council held a hearing on a proposal to regulate costumed characters in Times Square, which would require they be licensed and pass background checks.

The bill followed the arrests of several characters. In September, a woman dressed as Elmo was arrested on an aggressive panhandling charge. Days before, two men, one dressed as Batman and another dressed as Spider-Man, were arrested after a brawl with another man, police said.

Other incidents included a Spider-Man allegedly punching a cop, an Elmo being arrested for allegedly harassing people and yelling anti-Semitic slurs and a “Toy Story” Woody allegedly groping women.

In August, police distributed fliers to tourists saying tipping was not required when taking photos with the Elmos, Mickey Mice, SpongeBobs and Statues of Liberty that flock to the area. Many of the people who dress to make ends meet said tipping plummeted.