Santa Cruzans have recently seen a man dressed as the Cookie Monster from “Sesame Street” loitering around the Beach Boardwalk and wharf area. Although the man has not been charged with any crimes locally, police are encouraging those who encounter him not to interact.
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The Santa Cruz Police Department is encouraging people not to engage with a man dressed in a Cookie Monster costume who has been seen around the Santa Cruz wharf and Beach Boardwalk in recent days.
SCPD spokesperson Joyce Blaschke said the department has received calls from concerned residents saying the man dressed as the iconic “Sesame Street” character is creepy and uncomfortable.
Blaschke said the man has been known to “badger people,” but he has not been charged with any crime.
A Los Angeles Times article from 2016 identified the man as Oregon-born Adam Sandler (no, not that Adam Sandler).
According to several media reports, he has faced criminal charges in other cities, including New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, for threats against tourists, other street performers and store owners.
His unsavory antics include antisemitic tirades caught on video, threatening business owners and residents in multiple cities, and even finding himself in an extortion case involving the Girl Scouts, for which he reportedly once worked as a temporary employee on a short-term computer programming project.
In New York, where he frequented Central Park dressed as the “Sesame Street” character Elmo, the New York Times reported that Sandler was captured on video in 2012 shouting antisemitic and xenophobic remarks.
In San Francisco in 2014, Sandler was charged with being a public nuisance and threatening a business owner on Fisherman’s Wharf who had put up a sign saying the costumed man was not a store employee.
He pleaded guilty to being a public nuisance and was banned from several tourist locations in San Francisco, including Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square and the Embarcadero, for five years, according to the Los Angeles Times report.
Lookout searched the beachfront area and wharf Tuesday, looking behind businesses and on side streets adjacent to the Boardwalk to ask Sandler about his appearance in town and the accusations against him, but he was nowhere to be found.