Main | Thursday, June 28, 2012

NYC's Other Adam Sandler

On the streets of midtown Manhattan, particularly around Times Square, one often finds men in children's television character costumes, soliciting tips from tourists in return for posing for pictures. Annoying perhaps, but harmless enough. However one week ago a cell phone video went viral when shocked Central Park tourists (and their kids) were accosted by one such Elmo who was screaming anti-Semitic slurs. The NYPD were summoned and Elmo was promptly hauled off to the nearest mental ward for evaluation.

But as the New York Times learned, this was not just another "weirdos of the city" story, as local blogs had snickered in their coverage of the video.
Mr. Sandler said he has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon, which the university confirmed. He later traveled to Cambodia and started a pornographic Web site called “Welcome to the Rape Camp.” “I had a sex scandal,” he said. An online search yielded news accounts of the site, like a 1999 article by The Associated Press that identified Mr. Sandler by his original name. The Cambodian police arrested Mr. Sandler that year and quickly deported him, according to news media accounts and Mr. Sandler. He insisted the women on the site were not harmed and were paid $20 per performance. On Tuesday, he said the notoriety from the Rape Camp case led him to change his first name to Adam, and he asked that the original name not be included in this article. “I did run a porn site in Cambodia,” he said.
The Times reports that immediately after his release from the mental ward, where doctors told him he is "a little paranoid," he was back at his post in Central Park, where he sometimes sleeps. I'm searching for the right handle on how this relates to universal health care, but I think there's a connection here.

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