The same Elmo impersonator that went on an anti-Semitic rant in Times Square last year, was charged Wednesday with trying to extort $2 million from the Girl Scouts.
Prosecutors argued that Dan Sandler, 49, began sending threatening emails to a Girl Scouts supervisor after meeting her while working a temp job for a nonprofit. Despite the supervisor’s demands to have Sandler stop contacting her, Sandler said he'd spread sex abuse rumors about the organization unless she gave him a high-paying job or made him rich, Associated Press reports.
"I want a telecommute job from home of life at 150K," prosecutors said he wrote in one of the emails. "Or a two million dollar cash settlement. As you know, the newspapers like to cover my evil Elmo scenario."
Sandler, who also goes by the name Adam Sandler, pleaded not guilty to grand larceny and other charges. He's being held on $200,000 bail.
This isn’t Sandler’s first brush with the law.
In 2009, Sandler’s “Evil Elmo” skit made headlines after he went on xenophobic and anti-Semitic tirades in front of tourists posing to take pictures with him in New York City's Times Square. His outbursts resurfaced in 2010. Last year, he was ejected from Central Park for going on similar derogatory rants.
“If you start your own business in this city, Jews will harass you!” he shouts in a video shot of him in Central Park. A woman gasped and said, “That is the scariest Elmo I’ve ever seen in my life!”
New York City police surrounded “Evil Elmo” and he was eventually taken away in an ambulance, the New York Daily News reports.
Sandler, who says he's homeless, later moved to San Francisco. In October, he was spotted in Fisherman’s Warf and a park in Inner Richmond harassing tourists.
"Something was off about him from the start," one parent wrote in a message board email published by the San Francisco Chronicle. "As he passed all of us to leave, he started yelling obscenities and anti-Semitic slurs. He just went nuts."
In an interview with CBS San Francisco, Sandler said he was deported from Cambodia in 1999 for running a pornography website called “Welcome to 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.
Sandler was arrested in San Francisco on May 9 on a warrant for the New York extortion case. Authorities said he lived in his car and told investigators following his arrest that he was being followed by the U.S. State Department, AP reports.
Originally from Montreal, Zoë Mintz joined IBTimes in March 2013. A graduate from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, her writing has...