BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Americas
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Thursday, 21 June, 2001, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
Cookie Monster 'assaulted'
Cookie Monster
Cookie Monster is a popular character at the park
A man has been arrested for allegedly assaulting the children's TV character Cookie Monster at a Sesame Street theme park in Pennsylvania.

Police say Lee McPhatter became upset when the actor inside the costume would not pose for a picture with his three-year-old daughter.

He is accused of shoving and kicking the park employee.


It is an honour to be Cookie Monster

Audrey Shapiro, Sesame Street spokeswoman
Mr McPhatter said: "People started yelling at me that I should be ashamed of myself for hitting Cookie Monster. I did not kick or punch Cookie Monster.

"The cop did not want to hear my side of the story, and I got arrested."

'Bruised'

Park employee Jennie McNelis, 21, was inside the costume at the time of the alleged attack.

Middletown police said she suffered bruised ribs and a cervical sprain as she was shoved to the ground and kicked her in the head. She has since returned to work.

Mr McPhatter has accused Ms McNelis of putting a big blue hand "aggressively" on his daughter Mina's head to push her away.

He said he had twice asked the character to pose for a picture because Mina was being jostled by the crowd waiting to meet the TV favourite.

Honour

Sesame Street spokeswoman Audrey Shapiro confirmed that the incident took place, but called it a rare event.

She said: "Our characters do not act the way this man said.

"It is an honour to be Cookie Monster.

Sesame Street is one of the most popular children's TV programmes to be made in America.

McPhatter has been released on $20,000 (14,159) unsecured bail.

He has vowed to contest the charges of simple assault, harassment and disorderly conduct.

He added: "Why would someone take their three-year-old daughter to the park and attack Cookie Monster?

"I would never do that in front of my daughter."

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

06 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Muppets creator honoured with statue
26 Apr 00 | Middle East
Sesame power for Egyptian girls
30 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Kermit backs exotic pet crackdown
22 Mar 00 | Business
Muppet owners buy Formula One
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Americas stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Americas stories