NYPD to Disney and Marvel: Get Minnie Mouse, Spider Man out of Times Square

Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland

NYPD to Disney and Marvel: Get Minnie Mouse, Spider Man out of Times Square

By Aaron Smith, CNN, Associated Press | Posted - Aug. 28, 2015 at 10:41 a.m.


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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — New York's police chief is asking Disney and Marvel to crack down on the costumed hustlers of Times Square, but the companies aren't responding.

Times Square is populated by a variety of rogue characters plying tourists for money. Some of these characters, like Minnie Mouse and Spider Man, are trademarks of Disney or Marvel.

The NYPD confirmed to CNNMoney that Commissioner Bill Bratton asked Disney and Marvel to sue for copyright infringement. But according to the NYPD, the companies aren't biting.

Disney and Marvel did not respond to emails from CNNMoney.

Times Square has a long history of sordid behavior up until the 1990s, when it was overrun by peep shows, prostitutes and street corner crack dealers. But former Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg swept away much of the crime and turned it into a pedestrian haven for tourists and corporations like Toys R Us and Olive Garden.

More recently, Times Square has become the haunt of costumed characters and topless women who get their pictures taken with tourists for tips.

But it started to go sour in 2013, when Cookie Monster got arrested for allegedly knocking over a toddler when his mother supposedly refused to pay.

There's been a series of incidents and arrests since then, including accusations of groping by another Coookie Monster, and also Woody from "Toy Story"

Spider Man was arrested in 2014 for allegedly demanding tips in an aggressive manner. Earlier this year, a Youtube video went viral of another Spider Man locked in a brawl with a heckler right in front of Toys R Us.

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Aaron Smith

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