’Free Hugs’ guy punches Times Square tourist who didn’t tip: police
Nothing is free – not even hugs. A 24 year old man known in New York City as the “free hugs guy” was arrested Thursday for punching a Canadian tourist who didn’t leave a tip.
“I was aggressively asking for tips,” Jermaine Himmelstein told reporters.
A New York police official said the 22 year old woman suffered a black eye, swelling to the face and some cuts and bruising. She was taken to a nearby hospital for evaluation.
The official said Himmelstein had “multiple prior arrests” for similar incidents.
“He is no stranger to this,” NYPD Chief of Department James O’Neill said.
According to the New York Daily News, Himmelstein routinely charges $5 for a “free hug.”
“He’s been arrested 16 times since 2012,” the Daily News went on to say. “He was busted for tossing a can of soda at a woman who refused to hug him in Washington Square Park in 2013. The can bruised her face. He was also accused of punching a woman in the face on the Coney Island boardwalk last year.”
How does a guy with a “free hugs” sign get any customers? I’d give him a really wide berth.