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Game Over for Super Mario Groper in Times Square

By Andrew Lu on December 21, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

This is kind of like telling a 5-year-old that Santa Claus doesn't exist. But apparently, video game icon Super Mario may be a real-life groper. Sorry, Super Mario Brothers fans.

A fully grown New Jersey man who enjoys dressing up in costume as Super Mario was arrested for groping a 58-year-old woman in New York's Times Square.

Police say Damon Torres, 34, dressed up as the video game hero and grabbed and groped the unsuspecting woman. Showing his superness, Torres then "jumped really high into the air," reports the website Gothamist.

Kidding aside, the woman actually reported the incident to a Times Square security guard, and Torres was quickly arrested. Maybe it was his bright blue and red costume that gave him away. Or perhaps it was his comically oversized mustache.

After the arrest, the woman indicated that it was not her first encounter with Super Mario. In fact, she claims there were similar incidents in the past and added that "they're always putting their hands on you ... half of them are drunk," reports Gothamist.

Street vendors in the area confirm that these grown men dressed in costume may not always be up to good. For example, they pointed out that last year a man dressed up as Elmo from "Sesame Street" was arrested for yelling anti-Semitic slurs at tourists.

Torres was charged with forcible touching and marijuana possession.

What's the takeaway here? Well, maybe you should think twice before having your picture taken (or really, doing anything else) with a grown man in costume. This is especially true if he smells intoxicated or looks like he hasen't showered in ages.

And during this holiday season, this word of caution takes on an extra sense of urgency as you consider planting your child on some strange Santa's lap.

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