Times Square street performer dressed as nerdy video game character Super Mario groped a woman Wednesday night and quickly found himself behind bars, police said.
Damon Torres, 34, is one of three or so Marios who work the Crossroads of the World, earning their keep by posing for pictures.
But about 5 p.m., Torres apparently took his enthusiasm too far, grabbing the thigh of a 58-year-old woman as she walked past 4 Times Square, better known as the Conde Nast building, on West 42nd St., authorities said.
“He walked up to her and touched her private parts,’’ said a Times Square Alliance security guard to whom the woman reported the incident. “She said she had similar encounters with the character. She said she was offended.”
The guard, who wouldn’t identify himself, said he took the woman to the Alliance’s nearby office, where police were notified.
Torres, dressed to the hilt as the mustachioed video game character, was arrested a few minutes later and charged with forcible touching and unlawful possession of marijuana.
His video game brother, Luigi, was nowhere in sight.
The North Bergen, N.J. resident was being held at the Midtown South Precinct late Wednesday. On the short side and wearing a striped sweater under his coat, Torres noticed the media when he was perp-walked with other criminal suspects.
"They're here for me," he said to his fellow members of the chain gang. He declined to answer questions, however.
People in Times Square found the alleged groping repellent, but not surprising.
“Oh my God. I'm glad I didn't get a picture with him,” said tourist Savannah Lee, 24, a hairdresser visiting from Georgia, when told of the alleged assault. “Creeps are everywhere, but now we're in a city full of them.”
“They’re always putting their hands on you,” said street vendor Betty Ford. “Half of them are drunk. The police should keep them all out.”
Stan Renton, a street hawker, called them “nothing but bums in costumes.”
“They should get real jobs,’’ he said. “I can’t believe people let them near their kids.”
Last December, police backed off a summons spree aimed at Super Mario, Elmo, Mickey Mouse and a host of other characters who call Times Square home.
In doing so, officers were told to leave the characters alone, as long as they don’t block traffic or sell products or pictures.
They are allowed to pose for pictures with passersby and can accept tips.
In September, one of the Elmos went on an anti-Semitic rant. Adam Sandler, 48, — not the comedian — pleaded to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to community service.
Kerry Burke, Rocco Parascandola and Denis Slattery
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