Jeramie Trespalacios, a young man who does meet-and-greets as Elmo for a living, loves to see the look of surprise on children’s faces when he walks in a room. But this weekend, Trespalacios got a surprise of his own.
While taking a break from his job at Learning Express Toys in Winter Park, FL, the costumed actor entered the nearby Guitar Center and was met with a wild man on the drums – one The Consumerist has described as an “Animal,” if you will – which is when a smackdown of epic, Muppet-sized proportions began.
According to local CNN affiliate WKMG Orlando, Trespalacios describes the encounter as “kind of intense.” He says, “The man comes up to me, never says anything, has a big old grin on his face — which is kind of creepy, actually.” The assailant then began tapping the eyes on his Elmo head, and when Trespalacios turned around to ignore the man, he felt a blow to the back of the head.
“I took off my mask, immediately threw it on the ground,” Trespalacios says. “I didn’t care because I was just trying to protect myself. I took off my gloves real quick, threw them down and I was ready.” The actor maintains that watching Elmo defend himself in a fight is “good for the kids,” adding, “Elmo is kicking butt, keeping society good!”
As for the madman drummer, police say he was “physically aggressive toward both customers and staff before he began struggling with Trespalacios, who was not injured in the attack.” The perpetrator was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of two broken fingers, and underwent a mental health evaluation.
This is not the first time Elmo has been in the news as of late. He recently appeared on Good Morning America to talk about why his play date with Katy Perry was cut short. I wonder if his pal SuperGrover will be jealous that he saved the day, as it were. And I wonder how many kids were traumatized watching Elmo throw down his head in the execution of vigilante justice. It may have been self-defense, but Elmo did shove a man into a glass case. To witnesses, “Remember, Elmo loves you!” will never sound the same.
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