Street magician arrested for pulling off woman’s bathing suit

Richard Cook booking photo (Pinellas County Sheriff's Office)

CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) — A man working as a street magician in Florida was arrested Sunday for allegedly pulling off a woman’s bikini while doing a trick.

According to the Pinellas County arrest report, Richard Cook was performing street magic along the sidewalk at 1 Causeway Blvd. Sunday around 8 p.m. when the incident occurred. The report states Cook was doing a trick in which he was trying to make a scarf disappear from his hand, when he asked for a volunteer and the victim came forward.

That is when, officials say, he told the victim to keep both hands out in front of her, as he reached down and pulled her bikini bottoms out from her side.

The woman was able to grab her bottoms to not expose herself and told Cook she did not feel comfortable doing the trick. According to the arrest report, Cook responded “you will feel comfortable” and immediately did it again.

The victim ran off and alerted the first police officer she saw.

Cook has an extensive criminal history and has served six stints in the state prison system for convictions out of Alachua, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties.

This time, he’s been charged with felony battery and is being held at the Pinellas County Jail on $2,500 bond.

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