Police say the fight started when the father's daughter slipped to the floor after having her photo taken with the bunny

By Tim Nudd
Updated March 22, 2016 08:55 AM
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Credit: Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune/Getty

A man dressed as the Easter Bunny at a New Jersey mall and the father of a girl who sat on his lap for a photo both face assault charges after allegedly getting into a brawl when the girl slipped to the floor after the photo, police say.

Kassim Charles, 22, who was working as the mall bunny, and Juan Jimenez-Guerrero, 44, both of Jersey City, are being charged with aggravated assault and disorderly conduct, reports The Jersey Journal.

Police said the fight started after Jimenez-Guerrero’s 1-year-old daughter slipped onto the floor after having a photo taken with Charles at the Newport Centre Mall on Sunday. Jimenez-Guerrero yelled at Charles and then allegedly attacked him, and Charles allegedly fought back, police said.

The incident was captured on video and then posted to Twitter by a user. The video shows security guards trying to break up the fight as a large crowd looks on.

“It’s Jersey City, so we see fights all the time, but I was just kind of surprised that something like that was happening in front of children,” one mall worker who witnessed the fight told the Journal.

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“I thought I have seen everything,” the worker told WPIX-TV, “but I have never seen a bunny fighting a man.”

Both men had outstanding warrants, authorities said. They were both treated for minor injuries at Jersey City Medical Center, and are being held at the Hudson County Jail. They are expected to make their first court appearance Tuesday.

Noerr Programs, which manages the Easter Bunny photo program, said in a statement that “the safety of guests and cast members is of utmost importance,” reports WNBC-TV. Noerr added that it has “assigned other employees to fill the role of Bunny.”