You know things are really bad when something “free” costs you five bucks.
A woman from Canada was attacked by the “free hug guy” in Times Square Thursday because police said she didn’t give the man a tip.
The ordeal happened on Broadway near West 46th Street sometime before 10:45 a.m., and the victim was a 22-year-old woman from Ottawa.
WABC-TV, Eyewitness News’s sister station in New York, captured an exclusive photo of the victim, which can be seen above.
The NYPD said the woman took a picture with Jermaine Himmelstein, 24, who was holding a sign that said “free hugs.” Police said Himmelstein then demanded three times that the woman give him money — and she refused each time. After the third denial, he punched her in the face.
The woman sustained a black eye, swelling to the face and some cuts and bruising. She was taken to the hospital, where she was treated and released. She was flanked by police as she was escorted back to her hotel Thursday evening.
The victim was first thought to be a tourist, but police said she’s been living in Manhattan recently.
Mr. Himmelstein sure looks like a swell guy. Maybe someone at Riker’s can give him a hug.