Tourist in Times Square punched by man offering free hugs

Tourist in Times Square punched by man offering free hugs

Police say what started as a kind gesture in Times Square ended with an assault that sent a Canadian woman to hospital.

According to the NYPD, a man holding a sign offering free hugs assaulted a 22-year-old visiting from Ottawa when she refused to pay him for a photo.

The alleged incident happened around 10:45 this morning. The victim took a picture with the accused, but when she refused three times to pay him afterwards, police say he struck her with a closed fist.

She was taken to a nearby hospital with severe swelling and a cut to her right eye. The suspect fled the scene but was arrested a few hours later at Union Square.

Jermaine Himmelstein, 24, is charged with robbery causing physical injury and fraudulent accosting.

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