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Police Warn of ‘Evil Elmo,’ a Man Harassing Santa Cruz Residents Dressed as Cookie Monster

Police Warn of 'Evil Elmo,' a Man Harassing Santa Cruz Residents Dressed as Cookie Monster

For years, a man known as “Evil Elmo” has caused distress in various U.S. cities while dressed as Sesame Street characters. Recently, this figure appeared in Santa Cruz, California, disturbing residents and tourists. Police have advised the public to avoid a man dressed as Cookie Monster, identifying him as the same individual behind the “Evil Elmo” persona.

A Troublesome Figure in Santa Cruz

The 59-year-old man, named Adam Sandler (no relation to the actor), has a history of causing trouble. As a street performer, he travels to tourist hotspots, dressed as Sesame Street characters, and encourages people to take photos with him. However, when customers refuse to pay, “Evil Elmo” often responds with vulgar rants, conspiracy theories, and anti-Semitic remarks.

The situation became concerning in Santa Cruz when tourist Michelle Roberts encountered him near the wharf. Initially thinking it would be fun to take a selfie, Roberts soon realized his disruptive behavior. “We saw him making a commotion and getting in people’s faces,” she recounted.

The Man Behind the Mask

Adam Sandler had already gained attention for disturbing behavior before coming to Santa Cruz. In 1999, he was deported from Cambodia for running a pornographic website called “Welcome to the Rape Camp,” featuring nonconsensual sexual acts.

In 2012, Sandler was arrested in Times Square after an anti-Semitic tirade when customers failed to tip him. He bizarrely claimed, “I’m Jewish myself,” and suggested those who didn’t tip represented “Jewish business interests.”

In 2013, Sandler tried to extort $2 million from the Girl Scouts of America, threatening to fabricate stories about sexual encounters involving campers. He served a year in jail and received restraining orders from two former employees.

Sandler became notorious in San Francisco, where his presence made residents uneasy. He was arrested in 2014 for threatening a woman, saying, “I’m going to rip your throat out.” Consequently, he was banned from Fisherman’s Wharf and Embarcadero piers. Since then, he has traveled across the United States, living in various locations from New York to Los Angeles, and even Hawaii.

Santa Cruz’s Response

Currently, Santa Cruz is where Adam Sandler resides. The local police aim to prevent trouble but can only act if Sandler commits a crime within their jurisdiction. They urge the public to report him if he engages in inappropriate behavior or claims to be hired by the city or a business.

A few reports of Sandler harassing people on the wharf have been made, but law enforcement can’t intervene unless he breaks the law. Concerns remain among residents, but some offer more empathetic views. Santa Cruz resident Nick Padron remarked, “He’s trying to make a little money, probably struggling, and found a way to make a few bucks offering pictures.” Padron added, “At the time, he didn’t seem too bad. (I) even got him to chuckle a bit.”

A Los Angeles business owner, who filed a battery report against Sandler in 2016, expressed concern for his well-being. “I would like to see him get some help. I don’t think he belongs on the street… No one wants to hear the Cookie Monster say he’s going to kill their family,” the business owner shared.

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