A mall Easter Bunny and an upset father made their first court appearance after getting into a fistfight over the weekend in a Jersey City, N.J., mall, the Associated Press reports.
Kassim Charles, who was playing the Easter Bunny, and Juan Jimenez-Guerrero, who became enraged after his 15-month-old daughter fell off a chair while getting her photo taken with the bunny, are both facing charges of aggravated assault and disorderly conduct.
According to AP, Charles’ bail was set at $20,000, but he was later released on his own recognizance. Jimenez-Guerrero’s bail was set at $25,000.
According to the report, Jimenez-Guerrero became angry after his little girl slipped from the chair Sunday, launching a verbal and physical attack on Charles. A video posted online of the brawl at the Newport Centre mall shows the two men exchanging punches. Charles was initially still wearing his bunny costume when the two were separated by security. A few seconds later, however, Charles appeared again, throwing off the bunny gloves and exchanging more blows.
Both men had to be treated at a hospital for minor injuries.
Charles’ girlfriend, Jasmine Butler, told the Jersey Journal, according to the newswire, that she tried to break up the fight when she noticed that the child was still there. But then she noticed that the child was gone, and she later learned that another mall patron had grabbed the toddler to protect her.
Butler insists that Charles didn't throw the first punch and that no one would start a fight wearing the costume because it is heavy and the headgear can make it difficult to see and hear.
“Without that Easter Bunny helmet on, he would have been hurt worse,” Butler said. “He had bruises on his face.”
Jimenez-Guerrero's wife, Nathalie Moreira, told the Journal that her husband “took a lot of punches,” as he tried to protect the child.
“[Charles] dropped my daughter, and he had no sympathy for her,” Moreira said. “My husband was like, ‘You just gonna drop my daughter?’ and [Charles] just started hitting him.”
According to AP, both men have records. Jimenez-Guerrero is also wanted on a fugitive from justice warrant. Charles has two prior arrests and is wanted in Jersey City for a light-rail violation.
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