SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A homeless man with a history of playing an evil version of the “Sesame Street” character Elmo from coast to coast is in jail after being accused of threatening a merchant at San Francisco’s waterfront.
Dan Sandler makes a living traveling between Fisherman’s Wharf and New York’s Times Square wearing a furry red costume and having his picture taken with tourists. But those who don’t cough up a donation usually land a front row seat to Sandler’s aggressive outbursts, which regularly got him in trouble with police.
When Sandler was seen in San Francisco again last winter, a number of shop owners around Jefferson and Leavenworth street began posting signs in their windows to make it clear he was in no way connected to their business.
Then the other day, an apparently upset Elmo demanded a food merchant to remove the sign. When she refused, Sandler allegedly began yelling expletives and threatened “I’m going to rip your throat out!” according to Matier and Ross.
He was arrested and booked into San Francisco County jail with bail set at $250,000. His red furry Elmo suit was also locked up and placed into evidence at the Hall of Justice.
Last year, Sandler was charged with trying to extort $2 million from the Girl Scouts.
Prosecutors in Manhattan alleged that the defendant, who also goes by the name Adam Sandler, began sending and leaving harassing emails and voice mails for a Girl Scouts supervisor he met while working a temp job at the nonprofit. They said that when the supervisor told him to stop contacting her, he threatened to spread false rumors about sex abuse in the organization unless it gave him a high-paying position or made him a millionaire.
Sandler, who spoke to CBS 5 in costume, admits he was deported from Cambodia in 1999 for running a pornography website called “Welcome to the Rape Camp.”
“I did a website 12 years ago in Cambodia, over 18 (year old) chicks, so it’s not even a crime,” he said.
He failed to see the irony in his new career path as a not so warm and fuzzy Elmo.
Sandler said he came to San Francisco because people are friendlier and there is less competition for street performers.
‘Evil Elmo’ Interview With KPIX 5 (Oct. 18, 2012)
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