The individual was seen wandering around Santa Cruz Wharf dressed as Cookie Monster.
Around 2015, the streets of San Francisco were briefly menaced by a man in a mascot costume of the popular Sesame Street character, Elmo. This man, identified as 54-year-old Adam Sandler (not that one), would walk around on the streets, offering to take pictures with tourists and harassing and screaming at anyone who didn’t pay him. Sandler was ultimately banned from San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf and Embarcadero piers.
In recent weeks, however, Sandler has resurfaced, this time on the streets around Santa Cruz Wharf and dressed as another Sesame Street character, Cookie Monster. While he has not committed any outright crimes, he does have a reputation around Californian cities as a troublemaker, and so local authorities are urging locals and tourists to steer clear of him.
“We are getting calls from people who say he is ‘creepy.’ Based on his history, we advise the public to not engage with this individual. Steer clear from him,” SCPD spokeswoman Joyce Blaschke told local news station KRON4 on Tuesday.
San Francisco’s "Evil Elmo" is back, this time as Cookie Monster on the Santa Cruz Wharf. Police are saying to "steer clear." REPORT: https://t.co/PNbyGeC0gD pic.twitter.com/AgtisCdevZ
— KRON4 News (@kron4news) February 21, 2023
“In recent weeks you may have seen a man dressed up like the Cookie Monster in the Santa Cruz area including the Beach and Wharf areas. It is important to note he is not employed by, contracted by, or permitted by the City of Santa Cruz or any local business,” a spokesperson for the Wharf said in a public service announcement.
“He is exercising his First Amendment rights, however, if you have concerns about inappropriate behavior or him claiming to be hired by the City or a business, you should contact Santa Cruz Police immediately.”