Elmo-impersonator Dan Sandler had previously been arrested for blocking traffic and for screaming “I hate the Jews!” while wearing an Elmo costume in Times Square. For that arrest, the Elmo impersonator was charged with disorderly conduct and received a community-service sentence.
In the current case, Sandler/Bad Elmo had apparently sent “alarming” and “bizarre” communications to New York-based Girl Scouts staff, accusing them of arranging sex between men and young girls at camps (as reported by the NY Daily News). Sandler’s reasoning? He believed that the Girl Scouts were associated with the pharmaceuticals industry. Thus, this was a protest against an industry and group that he saw as totally corrupt.
Sandler pleaded guilty to the extortion charges. Even his own lawyer only shrugged when asked to explain her client’s reasoning. The Elmo impersonator will also have to stay away from all Girl Scouts employees as part of his punishment.
For those who have not visited Times Square recently, adults in popular kids’ character costumes tend to hang out. They then receive tips from people who take photographs with them. “Sesame Street” characters like Elmo are quite common. It’s just that most of them don’t scream anti-Semitic remarks or defame the Girl Scouts.