Tourist 'punched in the face by man offering free hugs in New York'

Canadian woman refused to pay the man for a photo

Updated: 
NYC Tourist Allegedly Punched In Face After Refusing To Tip Man For 'Free Hugs'


A Canadian tourist was allegedly punched in the eye by a man in New York offering free hugs after declining to tip him for a photo.

The incident happened in Times Square on Thursday and involved 24-year-old Jermaine Himmelstein and 22-year-old holidaymaker Sophie Violene Dauvois, according to the New York Police Department.

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Police say she was struck with a closed fist and taken to a nearby hospital with severe swelling and a cut to her right eye.

CBC reports that the suspect fled the scene but was arrested hours later at Union Square.

Himmelstein is charged with robbery causing physical injury and fraudulent accosting.
NBC New York reports that he did not deny hitting the woman and while being escorted out of a police station he told reporters: "I was aggressively asking for tips."

Investigators say he has a long history of similar arrests dating back to 2013.

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