Times Square Elmo accused of grabbing 14-year-old girl's butt

Inocente Andrade-Pacheco, 54, was arrested on a charge of forcible touching.
A bus tour ticket seller, center, walks through a group of costumed characters in Times Square in New York on March 29, 2016.
A bus tour ticket seller, center, walks through a group of costumed characters in Times Square in New York on March 29, 2016.Seth Wenig / AP file

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By Elisha Fieldstadt

A man dressed as Elmo in Times Square was arrested Saturday after being accused of grabbing a 14-year-old girl's butt, according to the New York City Police Department.

Inocente Andrade-Pacheco, 54, was wearing his Sesame Street character costume when he approached a girl in a group taking photos in the heart of Times Square and tried to take a picture with her, according to the NYPD. When she refused, police said Andrade-Pacheco put his hand on her back, then moved it down and squeezed her rear. The girl was not physically harmed.

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

Andrade-Pacheco, who is from Passaic, New Jersey, was arrested on a charge of forcible touching, according to the NYPD.

He has since also been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, sexual abuse in the third degree and harassment in the second degree, according to a criminal complaint released by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

At least one person witnessed Andrade-Pacheco squeeze the girl's backside, the complaint said.

Andrade-Pacheco was granted supervised release and is next due in court on Sept. 26, said a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.

Andrade-Pacheco's legal aid attorney did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment. The New York Post reported that he denied his client grabbed the girl.

Following an uptick in complaints about costumed characters groping and harassing people in Times Square, a 2016 law was passed restricting street performers to designated areas in the pedestrian plaza of the tourist hub.