Times Square ‘Hug Guy’ punches Ottawa tourist after refusing to tip

Times Square ‘Hug Guy’ punches Sophie Violene Dauvois Ottawa tourist after refusing to tip
Times Square ‘Hug Guy’ punches Sophie Violene Dauvois Ottawa tourist after refusing to tip (Screen Capture)

An Ottawa woman was left sporting a black eye after she refused to tip a 24-year-old man who offers hugs for tips in Times Square.

Jermaine Himmelstein, 24, AKA the “Free Hugs Guy” assaulted the 22-year-old Ottawa woman after she refused to pay him for a photo.

The victim, identified as Sophie Violene Dauvois, was taken to St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital for treatment of a swollen and bloody black eye, according to the New York Daily News.

Himmelstein reportedly fled the scene, but was located and arrested four hours later by a uniformed NYPD recruit. Himmelstein has been charged with robbery causing physical injury and fraudulent accosting.

For his hugging efforts, Himmelstein earns about $30 an hour. He usually charges $5 for hugs – punches are free.

Himmelstein has been arrested 16 times since 2012, NYPD Chief of Department James O’Neill told the New York Daily News.

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