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VIDEO: This New Yorker Clipped Tourists' Selfie Sticks Around Manhattan

By Nicole Levy | September 1, 2016 6:47pm

Consider it justice served for all those times you've almost walked into a selfie stick — courtesy of a renegade pair of pruning shears.

A video posted online Thursday shows a man clipping the selfie sticks of tourists as they pose for photographs at major sightseeing destinations in Manhattan.

Most victims appear stunned, a few curse, and one chases the stick-clipping bandit, who runs away immediately after striking.

"I wanted to hit people with a selfie stick, but that was too violent," videographer Buddy Bolton said of his conception for a filmed prank satirizing the device every New Yorker loves to hate. "A clipper just seemed a nice way to make a mockery of how asinine it is and how silly people look with a stick walking around."

The stand-up comedian captured his footage over the last week and a half, he said, at such locations as the steps of the St. Patrick's Cathedral, the main branch of the New York Public Library, Rockefeller Center and the Gapstow Bridge in Central Park.

The video is mostly unstaged, Bolton told DNAinfo New York. While the videographer declined to name his associate, he said the targets who appeared in their one-minute clip signed releases and received $10 replacement sticks after the fact.

"We thought it was good-hearted ... it wasn’t our intention to be really mean," the comedian said in response to online comments calling the video malicious in its intent. "Unfortunately a couple of people were upset." 

In choosing their marks, the pranksters didn't strictly set their sights on tourists. "Whoever was vain enough to be using a selfie stick was subject to our wrath," Bolton said. "It doesn't matter where you're from — nauseating vanity is nauseating vanity." 

The comedian, who has appeared on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," estimates that 50 percent of the subjects that participated in his hijinks will reconsider using a stick to document their lives and travels. They may ask another human being to take their picture, instead. 

"In the old days, you would talk to someone and say, hey can you take a picture of me and my wife," he said. "And there’s just less and less human interaction — so we just increased the human interaction.”

And Bolton and his partner aren't limiting their capers to the Big Apple. They plan to strike again in another city within a few days, he said.