The tension between the costumed characters who parade Los Angeles' Hollywood Blvd. begging for tourist tips is getting super-charged.
On Wednesday, two people dressed as Captain America and another in a Spider-Man getup allegedly threw punches at each other in front of the Madame Tussauds kiosk, feet away from the Dolby Theatre, according to an eyewitness.
“All of a sudden, two Captain Americas and Spider-Man started circling around me. Captain America just hit one of them and Spider-Man started bleeding,” Vernando Stroud told CBS Los Angeles. “I was stunned at the moment. Then all of a sudden, it just got to me…I got to get them out of the way. The tourists just looked around like they were enjoying the moment,” he said.
A Batman costumed bystander, whose real name is A.C. Simmons, felt the fight might defuse the mounting friction.
"I think it was just hostility that had to be let out," he said, according to CNet.com. "There's a group of characters that are actually strong-arming tourists and actually asking for $20 tips, which is ridiculous."
One of the Captain Americas involved in the fight, Juan Diego, said he jumped in the fray because he wanted to stop some costumed creeps who were picking tourists’ pockets; a non-heroic act that he said is bad for business.
"What are [tourists] going to say when they come home?" Diego said to KTLA-TV. "Oh, I was hustled by Zorro. Oh, I was hustled by Green Lantern. Oh, I was hustled by Captain America ... the other one."
Police investigated the allegations, but found nothing warranting an arrest, KTLA-TV reported. Still, this brawl is just the latest incident in Hollywood involving alleged not-so-heroic behavior by people dressed up in hero costumes.
In April, police were on the prowl for a man dressed as Spider-Man, who allegedly made off with $6,000 from a tour operator on Hollywood Boulevard.
In February, 2012, a woman dressed up as Catwoman got into a literal cat fight with an Ozzy Osbourne impersonator. She reportedly pepper sprayed the fake Ozzy and a Jack Sparrow character.
In September 2011, a man dressed as SpongeBob SquarePants was arrested for harassing two women, according to NBC Los Angeles.
The station also reported in 2009 that a Spider-Man impersonator struck a man in the face and arms.