'Evil Elmo' charged in Girl Scouts scam

The arrest caps a difficult time for the adorable, furry red monster.

By Jonathan Berr Jun 6, 2013 4:10PM
File photo of Elmo on the Sesame Street float during the 86th Macy's Thanksgiving day parade (© Brendan McDermid/Newscom/Reuters)What can one say about someone who dons an "Evil Elmo" costume and tries to shake down the Girl Scouts for $2 million?

Well, if you are Lawrence Gerzog, the attorney representing Dan Sandler, who also goes by Adam Sandler, you try to plead for mercy, arguing that you have "mental health issues." But as The Associated Press noted, a judge wasn't buying that argument and ordered the 49-year-old held in lieu of $200,000 bail.

Sandler, who is reportedly homeless, began leaving harassing messages for a supervisor at the Girl Scouts after he worked as a temporary employee for the nonprofit. When told to stop contacting her, Sandler threatened to spread false sex-abuse rumors about the organization unless it made him a millionaire or gave him a high-paying position.

He was arrested and pleaded not guilty to attempted grand larceny and other charges.

"Evil Elmo" is no stranger to police or the press. Sandler has dressed as the character to join the costumed hustlers in New York City's Times Square, charging tourists to snap their pictures. As the Gothamist blog noted, many people have been horrified by his antics. Sandler was even arrested for shouting anti-Semitic slurs at tourists.

"Passersby who attempted to take a photograph with Elmo were usually met with angry shouts of 'Five dollars! Five dollars! No five dollars, no picture of Elmo,'" the blog reported in 2010.

Elmo, who would not approve of such rudeness, has had a rough few months. Puppeteer Kevin Clash, who played Elmo on "Sesame Street" for decades, resigned last year from the beloved children's show after several men claimed he had sexual relationships with them when they were minors.  

Jonathan Berr is a Grover fan. Follow him on Twitter @jdberr.

More on moneyNOW

Tags: Crime
Jun 6, 2013 5:44PM
What a low life piece of crap! Any creep that preys on an organization for wee girls...or boys for that matter...should be horse wiped in public.
Jun 6, 2013 11:45PM
I'll never look at a tickle me Elmo the same way again.
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