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Anti-Semitic Elmo Is Back, Extorting Girl Scouts

Dan Sandler is racking up quite a record

Adam Chandler
June 06, 2013
Dan Sandler.(Jim Wilson/The New York Times)
Dan Sandler.(Jim Wilson/The New York Times)

Dan Sandler, alias Adam Sandler, also known locally as anti-Semitic Elmo is back.

Famous for his busking-cum-anti-Semitic rants in full costume, which shocked many bright-eyed Times Square passersby, Sandler “left” New York for the West Coast. But the honeymoon of wintry summers didn’t cure him and before long, Sander reportedly shocked Bay Area locals with paranoid ramblings about the government and Michael Milken last fall. Yesterday, Sandler was hauled into jail for a plot to extort the Girl Scouts of America–his former employer for a temp job–out of $2 million.

Transient loon Dan Sandler, who also uses the name Adam Sandler, threatened to spread false rumors that the Girl Scouts of the USA arranged sexual encounters between underaged girls and adult men, prosecutors allege in the bizarre new extortion and harassment case.

Even before today’s indictment, Sandler, 50, had been a disturbing Internet sensation for his antics as Elmo. Last year, he was arrested in Times Square and pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for screaming “The Jews are responsible for everything that’s wrong with the world!” and “I hate Jews!” while begging for tips in full Elmo regalia.

Sandler is being held on $200,000 bail while his lawyer argues that Sandler is mentally ill and shouldn’t be taken seriously.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.