“Free Hug” Man Punched A Woman For Not Tipping Him In Times Square

Photo: AP/Seth Wenig.
Jermaine Himmelstein is known to many New Yorkers as the man who stands in major tourist areas with a "Free Hugs" sign. But the 24-year-old is also known to perform actions less pleasant than hugging. In fact, he has a long history of assaulting women. On Thursday, Himmelstein was arrested for punching a woman in Times Square who refused to tip him, according to NBC New York. The woman was a Canadian tourist who snapped a photo with him. Apparently, that wasn't a service he was willing to offer for free. Himmelstein ran away after punching the woman, but since the tourist had taken a photo, she had proof to offer the police. While under police custody, Himmelstein made no effort to deny the incident, admitting to reporters that he was "aggressively asking for tips." Himmelstein has been arrested many times for assaulting women. With several cuts, bruises, and two black eyes, his latest victim seems to have suffered one of his more serious attacks.

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