(Photo: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)
A so-called "Evil Elmo" has been charged on Wednesday with trying to extort $2 million from the Girl Scouts.
Homeless man Dan Sandler has become famous for playing an evil version of the much-loved Sesame Street character Elmo, and has been seen across the country. However, Sandler has now been arrested after sending a stream of harassing emails to a Girl Scouts supervisor.
The "Evil Elmo" has now been arraigned on attempted grand larceny and other charges. Sandler has pleaded not guilty, but a judge has since ordered him to be held on $200,000 bail.
Prosecutors in Manhattan have claimed that Sandler began sending emails and voicemails last year to a Girl Scouts supervisor he met while working a temp job at the organization.
It is alleged that when the Girl Scouts supervisor asked Sandler to stop contacting her, he threatened her, saying that he would spread lies and rumors about sex abuse in the non-profit organization. He demanded that to avoid such rumors the organization would need to offer him a high paying position or simply make him a millionaire.
Prosecutors have claimed he wrote in one email: "I want a telecommute job from home of life at 150K. Or a two million dollar cash settlement. As you know, the newspapers like to cover my evil Elmo scenario."
He added, "How you treat me as a person will go a long way in regards to how I treat the Girl Scouts in the press, on the Internet and on u-tube."
Assistant District Attorney Lauren Littman has said that the emails to the supervisor became "increasingly alarming and bizarre."
It was described that in one email, Sandler sent a photo of an Elmo costume stuffed in the trunk of a car. He titled the email, "Interstate Kidnapping of Elmo."
Defense attorneys are arguing that Sandler has "mental health issues," and that his threats were never real.
The "Evil Elmo" has worked in New York's Times Square, as well as in San Francisco.
Here is a video news report into previous reports of the "Evil Elmo" being arrested for harassing tourists in New York's Times Square: