TIMES SQUARE — A Spider-Man impersonator who testified against the city's designated activity zones for costumed characters in Times Square is suing the city for $2.5 million, claiming he was falsely arrested there last year.
Abdel Amine Elkhezzani, 37, was dressed as the superhero in front of the now-defunct Times Square Toys R Us around 4 p.m. on Nov. 3, 2015, when he was “falsely arrested,” fingerprinted and jailed until around 11 p.m. the next day, a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on Wednesday claims.
The charges were later dismissed because the NYPD didn’t have “probable cause or reasonable grounds to support the original case,” the suit says.
Elkhezzani never did anything illegal when he was arrested, but police officers “falsely imprisoned and maliciously terrorized” him nevertheless, the suit adds.
The costumed character filed a notice of claim with the city comptroller’s office this past January seeking $2.5 million in damages for “loss of freedom, severe mental anguish, humiliation, reputational harm, psychological trauma and financial expense,” the filing show.
While Elkhezzani’s November 2015 arrest is sealed, a complaint filed with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office shows that he was arrested a few months later, on Feb. 19, for punching someone in the face twice at the intersection of West 44th Street and Broadway.
He was charged with two counts of assault, one count of attempted assault and harassment for that incident, but the case was adjourned in July and will be dismissed if he isn’t arrested again, the DA’s office said.
Testifying before the City Council in March, Elkhezzani claimed that police officers in Times Square were “harassing” costumed characters “instead of focusing on the real crimes.”
At that time, he said he'd been falsely arrested several times and had a lawsuit pending against the city.
The Daily News first reported on Elkhezzani's lawsuit.
Batman impersonator Jose Escalona-Martinez, meanwhile, currently has two lawsuits pending against the city claiming false arrests by the NYPD, documents filed in Manhattan Supreme Court show.
Both Elkhezzani and Escalona-Martinez declined to comment on the suits.
An attorney for Elkhezzani said he couldn't comment on his client's recent suit. Escalona-Martinez's lawyer and the city did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday.