Times Square warnings cut into characters' tips

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NEW YORK (AP) — Costumed characters who pose with tourists in Times Square for tips say they're making less money under a new police warning system.

Bright red leaflets and signs in five languages started this past weekend telling visitors they don't have to tip.

The mostly Spanish-speaking immigrants beneath Elmo, Mickey Mouse and other costumes say the blitz is taking a bite out of their already meager bottom line.

Police and the Times Square Alliance took action last weekend after attacks on some visitors, including children. One Spider-Man is accused of punching a police officer for telling a woman she didn't have to pay up.

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