A free hug in Times Square landed an Ottawa woman in the hospital Thursday morning.
The NYPD said that Jermain Himmelstein was holding a sign promising free hugs. The victim snapped a photo with the hug-happy panhandler, but when she was asked for payment, she refused.
That’s when Himmelstein punched her in the face with a closed fist.
She was taken to hospital where she was treated for a cut to the right eye. The heavy-handed hugger has been charged with robbery causing physical injury and… fraudulent accosting?
Back in Canada, numerous municipalities are dealing with a panhandling problem.
This week out in the Maritimes, Charlottetown council amended its nuisance bylaws to stop panhandlers from blocking pedestrians and tourists from walking and trying to solicit funds at places like ATMs and transit stops.
Halifax has experienced an increase in complaints from local businesses about pushy panhandlers asking people for donations.