Anti-Semitic Elmo identified as former porn purveyor

The man dressed in an Elmo costume who was captured on video spewing anti-Semitic epithets in a New York City park has been identified as the former proprietor of a pornographic website.

The man was identified by The New York Times on Wednesday as Adam Sandler, 48, formerly of Ashland, Ore., who once ran a Cambodia-based porn site.

Sandler, in his Elmo costume, was handcuffed by police in Central Park on Sunday and taken to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation after launching into an anti-Semitic rant. But he was back in the park posing for pictures by Tuesday.

Video that circulated online showed the costumed Elmo directing bystanders to read “The International Jew” published and distributed by Henry Ford, the automobile manufacturer who was also known for his anti-Semitic views.

“I’m not making money because the Jewish costume company is harassing me,” said the man in a video. “That’s why I’m doing it, and that’s why I want people to read ‘The International Jew,’ because if you start your business in this city, Jews will harass you.”

The Times reported that Sandler had lived in Cambodia, where he produced a website called “Welcome to the Rape Camp.” According to The Journal of Asian Law, the site featured Asian women who were used for “bondage, discipline, and humiliation.”

Sandler said the women on the site were paid for their performances and not harmed. Cambodian police arrested Sandler in 1999 and deported him.

An academic who wrote an article about the site later received emails from a man identifying himself as Sandler. In one, the man wrote that he had sex with young girls in Cambodia in exchange for money, according to the Times.

Sandler, no known relation to the comedian of the same name, told the Times that he had changed his first name to “Adam” to escape the notoriety surrounding the porn site.

He said he bought his costume online after noticing how much money some Elmo impersonators were making in New York by posing for pictures.

Sandler said of the doctors who interviewed him during his psychiatric evaluation, “Obviously they saw I was not a threat to myself or anybody.”