Last updated: 05:30 PM ET, Fri May 13 2016

'Free Hug' In New York City Costs Tourist Punch To The Face

Entertainment | Gabe Zaldivar | May 13, 2016

'Free Hug' In New York City Costs Tourist Punch To The Face

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Always read the fine print. One moment you’re enjoying a free hug and the next you are being taxed with a quick jab to the face.

That seems to be the mark-up for a warm embrace in New York City where one awful individual is alleged to have punched a Canadian tourist for not tipping for a reportedly “free hug.”

The New York Daily News reports “’Free Hugs Guy’ Jermaine Himmelstein socked the woman in the right eye following an 11 a.m. clash outside the T-Mobile store on Broadway near W. 45th St.”

Via the report, Himmelstein is used to charging $5 for what he calls free hugs. In this case, the normally cruel transaction took a horrendous turn as the 22-year-old from Canada was socked in the face.

Twitter has images of the frightening scene:

Himmelstein was later apprehended by officers, which, according to the report, makes lucky arrest number 16 for the nefarious hugger.

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Oh, but the report had some other startling news, such as the fact that Himmelstein could make as much as $30 an hour since he started doling out exorbitantly priced free hugs in 2013.

This is as good a time as any to remind that officials are eager to cordon off Times Square’s contingent of costumed characters to a special zone.

We rather like that idea. It would make it easier to avoid the awful tourist trap and leave plenty of room to enjoy the actual wonder that is New York City.

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