Free Hugs Guy punches tourist who refused to pay him

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.


Jermaine Himmelstein, the 24-year-old known as the “Free Hugs Guy,” was arrested on Thursday when he allegedly hit a Canadian tourist who refused to leave him a tip.

Sophie Violene Dauvois claims she was walking through Times Square when a man approached with a sign that read, “Free Hugs.” It’s alleged that Himmelstein jumped into a photo that Dauvois was taking, and when Himmelstein asked for a tip, Dauvois refused. Himmelstein then allegedly threw a punch, and Dauvois suffered  bloodied and swollen black eye.

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Following his arrest, Himmelstein was also charged with hitting a woman two weeks before the incident with Dauvois after the woman did not want to hug him.

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“You will respect me when I knock you out,” Himmelstein allegedly screamed in the earlier incident, before following her to the 49th St. station at Seventh Ave. He then allegedly struck her in the face.

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“I offered a hug to the girl … she said no and walked away,” Himmelstein is quoted as admitting to police in the complaint. “I observed (her) going down into the subway system and I hid my cardboard sign behind a pole.”

“I sucker punched her and then I jumped over the turnstile and ran away,” he allegedly admitted following the incident. Himmelstein was not arrested for the earlier incident until he allegedly attacked Dauvois.