1:00 PM EDT, June 29, 2012
We all know what cute little Elmo is supposed to sound like on Sesame Street.
But what's up with this guy? TV's beloved character never behaved this obnoxiously before.
A clearly troubled man dressed like Elmo has been creating quite a scene. You can see children running from him in a video recently posted on YouTube.
"I work for John Gotti. [blank] you!" screamed the man in the Elmo costume.
One parent said, "That's the nastiest Elmo I have ever seen."
He spews anti-semitic rants, saying, "I can't do business because of the [blanking] jews."
His hatred knows no bounds.
"Hindus are child rapists," he shouted.
Another street performer observing the ugly scene tried to put a stop to it.
"What's wrong with you Elmo. You can't curse at kids," said the performer.
So, who is the man behind the Elmo mask spouting profanities in New York City's Central Park?
He's been identified as 48-year-old Adam Sandler of Ashland, Oregon. Yes, he legally changed his name to that of the popular comedian.
This Adam Sandler says he bought the costume online for $300. Like dozens of other characters, he poses with kids and makes his money on tips.
Busy locations in New York and Los Angeles are filled with guys and girls dressed as popular characters, to the delight of children and tourists.
But no one is like this Elmo.
Cops were so concerned about his vile antics, he was taken into custody and brought to a mental hospital for evaluation. On one video, people were cheering during his arrest.
Sandler was later released without being charged and was soon back in the park.
It gets worse. Parents who let this Elmo tickle their kids will surely be alarmed to learn about his past. He's admitted to once running an X-rated website and to having sex with girls as young as 10 years old in the Asian nation of Cambodia.
How can you tell the evil Elmo from the good ones? Here are a few clues. This Elmo always seems to wear knee pads and a backpack. So if you ever see him in the street, our advice: go in the other direction.
The Children's Television Workshop, the producers of Sesame Street, have no affiliation with any of the characters and do not condone unauthorized representations of their characters.