New York City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. introduced legislation Tuesday that would either ban or introduce tight regulations on costumed characters in New York City…
Vallone told CBSNewYork.com that he had introduced two separate bills to combat the problems with costumed characters.
One bill would require registration, as well as a permission slip proving that the character involved has been licensed, for anyone appearing as a costumed character. The other bill would go farther to ban costumed characters outright.
“Clearly, the situation can’t continue to exist the way it does, and the laws we already have don’t deal with the situation,” said Vallone, a Democrat from the 22nd District.
There was, of course, a crisis in public costumery that spurred this push for legislative action. This weekend, a man dressed as Cookie Monster allegedly shoved a toddler in Times Square, and neither Cookie Monster’s sterling reputation nor civilized society can tolerate such an attack.
We must do something. And, of course, that something should be a centralized city database for vetting and licensing the Furry inclined. Or, if possible, just eliminating the free speech rights of those who care to dress like Jack Sparrow. Because isn’t it the First Amendment that’s really the problem, here?
The characters are not regulated, instead considered street performers protected by the First Amendment. Tompkins said that’s the main issue.
Tompkins likewise told Diamond, “What we’re being told is that there aren’t a lot of tools in the NYPD’s toolbox.”
Uh huh. The reporter mentions three cases of errant Muppets and such committing acts unworthy of their fluffy finery. In addition to Cookie Monster’s misdeeds, “Damon Torres, 32, was charged in December with groping a woman while dressed as Mario of video game fame. In another well-publicized incident, Philip Williams, 35, was accused of punching a woman in the face while in a Spider-Man costume after the woman said she didn’t have any money to pay for a photo with her children.”
Vallone, who’s also quite proud of authoring the trans-fat bill, concludes: “Nothing that exists right now really gives the police the tools to deal with this the way they want to.”
But presumably New York City already has laws against assault and groping on the books, which is why it appears all three of the alleged perps were charged with crimes.
New York, what a free-wheelin’, toddlin’ town, where anything goes! Let’s see how quickly the open-minded, Keep ______ American City Weird faction caves to their statist brethren. Does Naked Cowboy count? He’s not really wearing a costume, per se.