Police try taming wild Times Square characters

Police try taming wild Times Square characters

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A man dressed as Spider-Man arrested in Times Square. A man dressed as Spider-Man arrested in Times Square.

Just hours after police launched a public education campaign to keep Times Square's roving band of costumed characters in line after a series of high-profile incidents, three more were arrested.

The aim of the campaign is to remind the people inside the costumes that they cannot charge for photographs. They're also letting tourists know that photographs with the characters are free and tipping is optional.

The campaign began over the weekend. A short time later people dressed as Iron Man, Spider Man and Elmo were picked up and charged with disorderly conduct and blocking pedestrian movement.   Another person dressed as Iron Man was ticketed and released, said police.

The department is handing out fliers with the reminder superimposed on a picture of Times Square's versions of Mickey Mouse and Elmo.

They tell people call 911 if a character gets out of hand.

"I believe that Times Square is a place where any tourist, any people can go there and dress how they want to dress. People see me and come to me and ask "can I get a picture with you?' I just say give me a tip," said Jose Escalona Martinez who dresses as Batman.

The campaign comes two weeks after police say a man dressed as Spider-Man slugged a police officer who told him to stop harassing a tourist for a bigger tip.

"I enjoy what I do and that's why I'm there," said Escalona Martinez.

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