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Costumed Spider-Man convicted of harassment in NYC

NEW YORK (AP) -- A costumed Spider-Man was convicted Wednesday of harassing a woman in a Times Square spat that involved him swearing, her hurling snow and him taking a swing at her.

But a judge acquitted Phillip Williams of a more serious charge of attempted assault. It's a misdemeanor, while harassment is a non-criminal violation. Williams has to pay a $250 fine or serve seven days in jail.

His lawyer didn't immediately return a call after court. Manhattan prosecutors had no immediate comment.

At least three other people in Times Square's self-styled cast of comic book characters have been arrested in the last two years. But Williams' trial was a close-up on a clash between one of the costumed figures and their target audience of passers-by.

It got "ugly," he told a judge earlier this week.

Williams, 36, and Victoria Goreaciuc, 46, both said he cursed while complaining that she didn't tip him for posing for a photograph with her children in February 2013. She left but returned about an hour later, confronted him -- after initially accosting another sidewalk Spidey -- and tossed a handful of snow at Williams.

She said he then punched her in the face, knocking her to the ground, and fled. Williams said he swung in self-defense after a cold chunk hit his head.

Police arrested him in a nearby parking garage, with his shirt off but the rest of his Spider-Man costume on.

Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Anthony Ferrara presided over the non-jury trial, which featured a Spider-Man suit among the evidence and questioning about whether a costumed Batman had also been on the scene.
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   AP-WF-06-18-14 1953GMT