A man known across the country for spewing obscenities and anti-Semitic comments while wearing a giant fuzzy muppet costume has experiencing some harassment of his own in Fisherman's Wharf after a group of self-identified local street kids called him out publicly for his background in porn and general creepiness.
Dan Sandler, the evil Elmo in question, used to go by the name Adam Sandler (no relation) and was a foul-mouthed fixture around Times Square in New York around 2012. Before that he was running a Cambodian porn site called "Welcome to Rape Camp". In late 2012, Sandler brought his offensive act on the road, making his first appearances in Fisherman's Wharf and in the Richmond District's Rossi Park before doing a tour of Los Angeles and Honolulu. Sandler was eventually shipped back to New York when SFPD booked him on an outstanding warrant, only to return to Fisherman's Wharf in the past few weeks.
This time around, however, Sandler apparently couldn't outrun his Google search results and his reputation has not won him any favors with the local street toughs. According to the Chronicle, Sandler has been working the busy tourist stretch of Jefferson Street, where he has been doing an effective job of creeping out the young, all-female staff at the It'Sugar candy store. So, a gang of youths decided to take matters into their own hands last Sunday. From the Chronicle's account:
A beat officer, [SFPD Capt. Garrett] Tom said, observed Elmo asking a family for money after they took a photo with him in front of the candy store. When they refused to pony up, Sandler followed them, Tom said.
That same day, altercations broke out between Elmo and the self-identified street kids, who are teenagers and young men.
"Four suspects - three males and a female - approached him, started calling him a child molester, yelling at passersby to keep their kids away from him," Tom said. "Sandler said he didn't know who these people were and that one of the males pulled out a pocket knife and started to threaten him."
For creeping out the tourists, Sandler was cited with aggressive panhandling, but the four vigilantes/suspects vacated the scene before the authorities arrived. Later, however, another kid—identified simply as "Jason"— took credit for standing next to the offensive character with a sign reading "Rape-O." For his own juvenile counter-prank Jason was collared by SFPD and brought in for a psychiatric evaluation.
For now, Sandler has been allowed to return to the Wharf. According to SFPD there's not much they can do unless he starts to rack up a few repeat offenses or "something a little more serious."
Previously: Hide Your Kids: 'Evil Elmo' Descends On San Francisco