Police have warned locals to stay away from a “creepy” man in a Cookie Monster costume who is terrorising families along the boardwalk of Santa Cruz, California.
The man in the shabby blue Sesame Street costume was revealed to be Adam Sandler (not the actor/comedian) who has a history of threatening to kill families and making disturbing remarks when approached.
Santa Cruz police warned residents not to engage with the man amid reports he was jumped and assaulted by two men on the beachfront.
The force said on Facebook: “Recently, a man dressed up like the Cookie Monster in Santa Cruz is causing concern around the Beach and Wharf areas. The Santa Cruz Police Department identified the costume-clad man as Adam Sandler, and he has no relation to the actor.
“Santa Cruz Police Department have received calls and emails from people who say he is ‘creepy’ and his presence and comments make them uncomfortable. Based on Adam Sandler’s history across the country, the Santa Cruz Police Department advises the public not to engage with this individual and steer clear of him.”
“So far, Sandler has not committed a crime in the City of Santa Cruz.”
They added it was up to the parent’s discretion to judge whether it’s safe for children to take photos with the discoloured Cookie Monster.
One local jokingly replied to the appeal: “If you just throw him a cookie, he goes away.”
Another replied: “He asked me if I wanted a picture with him, I told him I am not carrying any money.
“He said I can take one for free, even a selfie, which I did.
“Then he asked me why there were no people on the wharf, I told him because it is mid-week and right after the storms. He said he needed to make 59 to 60 dollars per day. I actually felt sorry for him.”
Adam Sandler has a history of terrorising families across the Sunshine State dressed as Elmo but police did not reveal any crimes. He was allegedly filmed in the middle of an anti-Semitic rant but later insisted to the LA Times he was Jewish.
Michelle Roberts, a visitor to the pier, said she saw the Cookie Monster getting into people’s faces, adding: “We saw him at the beginning of the wharf.
“At first glance, it just seemed like maybe it would be fun to do a selfie with him but we were away from him and then we went to the back of the wharf by the deadlines, and that’s when we saw him coming out making a commotion and getting in people’s faces.”
A business owner in LA, who filed a battery charge aainst him in 2016, said: “I would like to see him get some kind of help. I don’t think he belongs out on the street… no one wants to hear the Cookie Monster say he’s going to kill their family.”
Santa Cruz Wharf issued a public service announcement, adding: “In recent weeks you may have seen a man dressed up like the Cookie Monster in the Santa Cruz area including the Beach and Wharf areas.
“He is exercising his first amendment rights however if you have concerns about inappropriate behavior or him claiming to be hired by the City or a business, you should contact Santa Cruz Police immediately.”