Despite appearances, the costumed mascots of Times Square can be a sour bunch. Just last year, Cookie Monster pushed a baby, Elmo spewed anti-Semitic vitriol, and Super Mario got handsy with someone's thigh. But apparently the stinkiest of all is the Spider-Man who hit a woman in the face after quarreling about a tip.

Philip Williams is on trial facing 90 days in prison for the alleged February 2013 assault, and on Monday, the court used an unusual identification method on a key piece of evidence. From the New York Post:

"The smell is very distinctive?" Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Anthony Ferrara asked her after she was presented with an evidence bag containing the suspect's costume on Monday.

"Yes," she replied.

"You remember that smell?" the judge asked after she took a whiff during the pre-trial hearing.

"Yes," she said again.

Spider-Man's odor was allegedly so strong that the victim could confidently recognize it nearly a year and a half later. The Post, high-minded journalistic outfit that it is, sent reporters to Times Square to see whether other faux Peter Parkers could be identified by their spidey-scents. They found a veritable cornucopia of stenches:

One stinky Spidey lingered in a fog of his own musk at Broadway and 42nd Street — putting forth a distinct melange of cheap deodorant, body odor and stale musk. Despite this, he was demanding people pay for the privilege of standing next to him for photos.

A second web-slinger wannabe, standing in front of Toys "R" Us, had a slightly sweet and sweaty bouquet that also could have been as good as a DNA test if it were ever to be brought up in court. It was the type of smell that may have struck Goreaciuc's nose during her dust-up with Williams.

The second Spider-Man's aroma, in case you missed it, was as "good as a DNA test," according to the paper — finally, a way to take down these masked menaces once and for all! Somewhere, J. Jonah Jameson is smiling.

[Image via Flickr]