NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New zone regulations for costumed characters in Times Square are not even a week old yet, and they are already being broken.
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, Spider-Man, Cookie Monster, Mickey Mouse, and a couple of Elsas were spotted Monday in the new “designated activity zone” in Times Square, which is set apart with light blue paint.
But on Saturday, cellphone video showed three costumed characters soliciting pictures for money on 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue — an area where they are no longer allowed.
And on Monday, Spider-Man was spotted just outside of the activity zone, aggressively following a tourist after he didn’t get a tip.
Later Monday, CBS2 saw a gang of costumed characters on 42nd Street at Broadway, and others at Seventh Avenue, posing for pictures out of the activity zone.
CBS2’s Carrasco asked one woman dressed as Cookie Monster about it. Her reply was, “No English.”
The characters already pushing the boundaries, not even a week after the zones went into effect. The restrictions were an effort to regulate costumed characters, ticket sellers and other street performers.
“We set up rules, we set up areas, and we have people up there to monitor there, and if they don’t comply they’ll be subject to enforcement,” said NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Public Information Stephen Davis.
The NYPD told CBS2 that so far, zero summonses have been issued.
One Spider-Man was frustrated, saying the new rules are not being enforced. He said he complies, even if it means losing business.
“I like to entertain; be a performer,” he said. “Now I can’t entertain in a small box.”
He said he was “absolutely” losing money.
The NYPD told CBS2 an officer must witness the zone violation for a summons to be issued, which could come with a fine of up to $500.