Costumed Spider-Man convicted of harassment in NYC

Costumed stars of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade - including Spiderman, Sponge Bob, Dora the Explorer, Snoopy, Mr. Potato Head and a turkey - were together during a protest in New York's Times Square on March 9, 2011. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

NEW YORK - A costumed Spider-Man was convicted Wednesday of harassing a woman in a Times Square spat that involved him swearing, her throwing snow, and him taking a swing at her.

But a judge acquitted Phillip Williams of a more serious charge of attempted assault. That's a misdemeanor, while harassment is a non-criminal violation. Williams has to pay a $250 fine or serve seven days in jail.

At least three other people in Times Square's self-styled cast of comic book characters have been arrested in the last two years. Williams' trial was a close-up look at a clash between one of the costumed figures and their target audience of passers-by.

It got "ugly," he told a judge earlier this week.

Williams, 36, and Victoria Goreaciuc, 46, both said "Spider-Man" cursed while complaining that she didn't tip him for posing for a photograph with her children in February 2013. She left but returned about an hour later, confronted him - after initially accosting another sidewalk Spidey - and tossed a handful of snow at Williams.

She said he then punched her in the face, knocking her to the ground, and fled. Williams said he swung in self-defense after a cold chunk hit his head.

Police arrested him in a nearby parking garage, with his shirt off but the rest of his Spider-Man costume on.

The lawyer for Spider-Man -- rather, Williams -- didn't immediately return a call after court. Manhattan prosecutors had no immediate comment.

Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Anthony Ferrara presided over the non-jury trial, which featured a Spider-Man suit among the evidence and questioning about whether a costumed Batman had also been on the scene.


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