Crime

Man Giving Away Free Hugs In Times Square Punches Woman In The Face

man giving away free hugs in times square punches woman in the face
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Everything in life has its price, including hugs! A man who was giving away free hugs in Times Square punched a Canadian tourist because she refused to pay him.

Jermaine Himmelstein, the NYC hugger, is accused of punching the woman in the face after he demanded cash, and she declined to pay for his services.

The tourist hugger was arrested 16 times before

Himmelstein was arrested on charges of robbery and fraudulent accosting after the incident with a Canadian lady.

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man giving away free hugs in times square punches woman in the face
man giving away free hugs in times square punches woman in the face

The woman from Ottawa was left with a black eye, cuts, and bruises. While Himmelstein was led out of the police station, he commented that he "was aggressively asking for tips."

NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill said: "He is no stranger to this." O'Neill was referring to Himmelstein's previous arrests.

The New York Daily News reported Himmelstein had been arrested 16 times since 2012 for aggressive behavior. As sources claim, the man usually charges 5 dollars for a hug, and if a woman doesn't want to pay, he gets physical.

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man giving away free hugs in times square punches woman in the face
man giving away free hugs in times square punches woman in the face

In one attack in Washington Square Park, he said to the victim:

"You're pissing me off, and I assault people when I'm mad."

In a subway attack, the threat was:

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"You will respect me when I knock you out."

Times Square is full of surprises

NYC's Times Square is full of people trying to get some money from the tourists. And usually, they're wearing some sort of a costume or a sign.

One Spiderman hit a police officer not long ago. Another also dressed up as Spiderman held a 13-year-old boy hostage to extract a 10 dollars tip from the boy's father.

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Jermaine Himmelstein was found mentally unfit to stand trial in the attack on the woman from Canada. She told the reporters that he appeared out of nowhere wearing a "free hugs sign, and all of a sudden, he started coming after us."

As for the free hugger, he clearly knows he's doing bad things to women. Yet, he cannot stop himself:

"I don't want to commit a crime. I'm afraid I will, but I didn't want to commit."

Himmelstein's parents claim he's autistic and returns to his "free hugs" routine whenever he stops with his medications.

Hopefully, he will get a proper diagnosis and adequate treatment. Otherwise, he will continue punching women, and one of these days, he might take things further.