Those of you who are regular readers of the Crawlspace may recall a series of incidents this last summer involving costumed street performers and panhandlers dressed-up as Spider-Man, many of which involved harassment and assault. One such individual, Junior Bishop, 25, got into altercation with several police officers in July after he allegedly demanded excessive fees from tourists for posing with them in photographs. The entire scuffle was caught on video, and the publicity from this and other similar cases resulted in a demand for the regulation of costumed street performers in New York City, resulting in a NYPD crackdown.
In a strange turn of events, however, all charges against Bishop have been dropped. As reported in the New York Daily News:
An accused Times Square “Spider-Man” cop-puncher was cleared Friday after prosecutors declined to bring a case against him…
…On Friday, the Manhattan district attorney’s office consented to the case’s dismissal on speedy trial grounds.
Prosecutors did not give a reason for the unusual move.
Bishop, who was facing possible charges which included second-degree assault, criminal mischief, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct, has maintained his innocence, claiming he never demanded excessive fees, stating that he and his fellow costumed performers are being “harassed.” As he told the New York Daily News last July before his hearing:
“I feel like it’s not Times Square anymore…I feel like we make it what it is. Not only characters, but ticket agents, comedy show [ticket sellers]…Without us it’s not Times Square. It’s only stores and shopping, theaters.”
Even after his hearing, prosecutors apparently never filed an official indictment against Bishop.
No doubt will learn additional details in the coming days as for why the Manhattan DA office had the case dismissed, so stay tuned, Crawlspacers!