Easter Bunny, dad charged in hare-raising fight at Newport mall (VIDEO)
This is actually a real, legitimate, not-made-up statement received at the New Jersey 101.5 newsroom Monday afternoon:
"Following their investigation today, Jersey City detectives are charging both the Easter Bunny and the father of the child in the incident from the Newport Centre Mall on Sunday."
Our inner children are crushed.
That statement, via Jersey City press secretary Jennifer Morrill, only gets better. Easter Bunny Kassim Charles, 22, of Bergen Avenue had a warrant out for "fare hopping," she said.
The statement references a fight between Charles, 22 and hopping-mad father Juan Jimenez-Guerrero, 44, of Bright Street. Both are being charged with aggravated assault and disorderly conduct, authorities said. Both men will be remanded to the Hudson County Correctional Center.
The brawl between the two became an viral Internet sensation this weekend, after it was captured on video by bystanders.
The fight began with ugly words from Jimenez-Guerrero — the father of a toddler who slipped off the bunny's lap on Sunday — authorities previously said.
Morrill said earlier Monday Jimenez-Guerrero began physically and verbally attacking Charles, who was still wearing the bunny suit, around 5 p.m. Sunday, after his daughter's picture was taken with the costumed character.
A fight ensued between the two, with both being taken to the JCMC-Barnabas Health for minor injuries.
A video of the incident shows Charles — wearing his bunny gloves and a blue jacket — coming after the father and then walking off. He can be seen coming back toward the father, removing his furry gloves and throwing a punch before being held down by several other men.
A woman can be seen kicking the costumed man as he unsuccessfully struggles to get up.
"The safety of guests and cast members is of utmost importance to the Noerr Programs, which operates and manages the Easter Bunny photo program," the program said in a statement sent to New Jersey 101.5. "We will continue to investigate this incident and take appropriate action. In the meantime, we are cooperating with the Jersey City Police Department who are leading this investigation and have assigned other employees to fill the role of Bunny."