NYC mayor says panhandling characters should be licensed - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

NYC mayor says panhandling characters should be licensed

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NEW YORK - Cookie Monster may soon need a license.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday he believes the people wearing character costumes in Times Square should be licensed and regulated.



Dozens of people - dressed as kids' favorites like Elmo, Cookie Monster and Batman - stand near 42nd Street and pose for photos with tourists in exchange for money.

De Blasio said the practice has "gone too far."

A man dressed as Spider-Man was arrested Saturday after allegedly punching a police officer who told him to stop harassing tourists.

The City Council is working on legislation that would require the characters to get a city-approved license.

The mayor said even those dressed as superheroes have to "play by the rules or you won't be working here any longer."

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