NYC Man Offering 'Free Hugs' Punches Woman for Not Tipping
'Free Hugs Guy' Allegedly Attacks Non-Tipper https://t.co/SYfcuKqBNQ
— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 13, 2016
A man known for harassing tourists with offers of "Free Hugs" in Times Square punched a woman after she declined to give him a tip.
Violene Dauvios, 22, of Canada, was taking pictures in New York City's tourist mecca with a friend, when 24-year-old Jermaine Himmelstein jumped into one of their shots, bearing his trademark cardboard sign.
They humored him with a hug and started to leave, but Himmelstein wasn't satisfied. He put his arm around one of the women and pulled out his wallet, demanding a tip, according to a witness.
When they refused and walked away, Himmelstein chased them down the street and punched Dauvios in the eye.
“He hit her pretty hard,” witness Karen Lewis said. “It’s going to take a few weeks for that to heal.”
Himmelstein was arrested later that afternoon.
According to the New York Post, cops also recognized him as a suspect in an April 29 attack on a woman in the subway and charged him for that, too.
“If he wants tips, he should tell people before,” witness Brian Martinez said. “Maybe he needs to change the sign to ‘Hugs for $1.’ ”