'Free Hugs' guy punches Times Square tourist who didn't tip: police


#1

WRGG (CBS):

’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.


#2

Same here. I also don’t get the people who want to have pictures taken with the Naked Cowboy, but to each his/her own. :shrug:


#3

I guess the hugs are not free after all. Oh the irony!


#4

Same here, but I think someone could go to a spot in NYC and call themselves anything, and if they do it daily and are consistent about it, eventually they will become recognized as such…anything from ‘guy who wears plaid pants’, girl who yells I love you’, etc etc.

I bet if you came up with something catchy, you would likely clean up in tips!


#5

Darn! I fled NY a month ago! :smiley:


#6

Nut case, and you wonder why people act like they can’t see you down their as they quickly walk by. They hope your not a nut case too. Sheez, hugs in NYC.

“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.”

Same here, but I think someone could go to a spot in NYC and call themselves anything, and if they do it daily and are consistent about it, eventually they will become recognized as such…anything from ‘guy who wears plaid pants’, girl who yells I love you’, etc etc.

Scaring people with loony action, street urchin.


#7

Evidently, he hates women also. Why any woman would hug a male stranger on a street corner is beyond me.


#8

Maybe he should change his sign: “A hug if you pay me, a haymaker if you don’t!” :stuck_out_tongue:

What a jerk. :mad:


#9

Somebody should punch the Mayor of New York for letting this street crime go on for so long.


#10

So, someone should commit a crime in protest of a crime…:rolleyes:


#11

The article did say that he is Autistic. Can Autism cause such behaviors?


#12

That’s possible, but if that’s the case, it’s irresponsible to leave him out in public like that.


#13

No.
If he were suffering from autism or any other disorder he would punch people or throw things at people all the time, not just when they failed to tip him.


#14

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