"Woody" Groped Women in Times Square: Police

The Times Square Alliance is calling for regulation of street performers in the area

By Marc Santia
|  Monday, Jan 13, 2014  |  Updated 8:20 AM CDT
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Police arrested a man dressed up as Woody from

Police arrested a man dressed up as Woody from "Toy Story" for allegedly groping several young girls. Marc Santia reports.

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A man has been arrested on forcible touching charges, accused of groping women in Times Square while dressed as a character from a popular children's movie.
 
Patrol officers in plainclothes observed 44-year-old Jose Vasquez, who was dressed as the famous animated cowboy Woody from "Toy Story," grabbing the buttocks of two women while they posed for a picture with him, according to police.

 
Vasquez was charged with two counts of forcible touching and sex abuse. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney. 
 
The women did not file a complaint, police said. 
 
This is the second incident in less than a year in which a person in costume allegedly harassed a visitor in Times Square. Last April, a man dressed as Cookie Monster was arrested after he allegedly pushed a toddler, apparently angry that the child's mother didn't give him a tip.  
 
The costumed characters in Times Square are considered street performers protected by the First Amendment and are currently not regulated. 
 
The Times Square Alliance said in a statement Thursday: "This is the latest in a long series of disturbing incidents that reinforce our belief that these costume characters must be licensed and regulated. We are looking forward to working with the new administration and City Council to come up with an equitable and effective regulatory solution."

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