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New York Times Square Spider-Man charged with punching police officer

By Jonathan Kaminsky

(Reuters) - A street performer dressed as Spider-Man in New York City's Times Square was arrested after punching a police officer who scolded him for demanding more money from a couple he had posed with for a picture, police said on Sunday.

The Saturday afternoon incident began when Junior Bishop, 25, was overheard by a police officer refusing a $1 bill from a woman with whom he'd taken a picture, insisting instead on a larger denomination, a police spokeswoman said.

After the police officer told Bishop he could only accept tips but not demand money, the Brooklyn resident began yelling at him, police say. When the officer told him he was under arrest, Bishop punched him in the face, police said.

The incident was not the first involving a costumed street performer running afoul of the law in New York. Last month, a costumed Spider-Man man was fined $370 for a 2013 incident in which he punched a tourist who had pelted him with snow.

Last year, a costumed Cookie Monster was arrested on suspicion of shoving a 2-year-old child whose mother failed to tip him, and in 2012 a man dressed as Elmo was arrested after going on an anti-Semitic tirade.

In Saturday's incident, Bishop was charged with assaulting an officer, resisting arrest, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. The officer, who suffered swelling around his eye and a cut to his face, was treated for his injuries at a nearby hospital and released, police said.

(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Cynthia Osterman)

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