An argument between a topless Times Square performer and two tourists quickly escalated into a physical fight, leaving the tourists bleeding Wednesday, according to police and witnesses.
The tourists from Chile told NBC 4 New York they had posed with the topless performer in the newly designated activity zone at Times Square, the only place where performers and costumed characters are allowed to ask for money.
The woman and her managers were apparently unhappy with the dollar tip from Francisco Vistoso and his brother-in-law.
"They came to us saying it was too little," Vistoso told NBC 4 in Spanish. "They started insulting [my brother-in-law] and then the woman came and attacked me."
Vistoso was left bleeding after the attack.
A witness who asked not to be identified told NBC 4 the topless performer's two managers approached the men and asked for even more money, which police say is illegal.
The tourists and the managers traded insults — the tourist called the woman a "prostitute," the witness said — and one of the managers shoved Vistoso's face, cutting him with his own glasses.
That manager, a woman, "came and pushed Vistoso, and he punched her in the face," said the witness. "She pushed him back, his glasses smashed onto his head."
The manager told police Vistoso started it.
"He hit me, and I pushed him back," the woman told police in an exchange captured by NBC 4 cameras. "With his glasses, I don't know where that came from."
The witness said the other manager punched Vistoso's brother-in-law. But the witness blamed the tourists in the fight.
"The tourist is guilty," the witness said. "He was rude, and all she asked for was a tip."
Performers are only allowed to ask for money in the eight blue-area designated activity zones installed in June, but it is illegal for them to demand even more money, which is what happened in Vistoso's case.
Police are now looking to speak with the managers of the topless performers, who left the scene after the scuffle.