The fitfully peaceful, tourist-clogged badlands in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre were once again plunged into a state of superhero-induced lawlessness yesterday, when a frustrated Batman, momentarily abandoning his longtime mission of the avenging the downtrodden, angrily whipped off his cape, raised his bewinged gauntlets, and threatened to enact his trademark brand of vigilante justice upon the nefarious picketers who would deny him a long, satisfying BatDump. Reports ABC 7 (there's incredible video on their website as well) on the caped crusader's shocking arrest:
Batman reportedly insisted on using a portable toilet that was rented by local union workers who were picketing a local business on the boulevard. An argument between the performer and some of the picketers escalated, whereupon Batman proceeded to remove his cape and assume an aggressive posture, taunting the picketers and appearing to pick a fight.
Another street performer dressed as Chewbacca came along and Batman apprised him of the situation. Chewbacca then removed his head-mask and confronted the picketers as well.
Soon thereafter, the LAPD arrived on the scene and arrested Batman.
According to Michael Neiter, a local artist who happened to be on the scene: "I think a lot of the characters and people out here get treated unfairly by the police. They [the police] tend to be a little rough-handed; they arrest people when they really don't need to."
Street performer "Hollywood Afro-man" who witnessed the altercation, held the opposite view: "He's [Batman] no good for here, that's why a lot of the characters named him 'Bat-trash' — because he's got a trashy mouth."
The LAPD said Batman became belligerent when he was taken to the station, began banging his head, and even kicked out a window in a patrol car.
Head-Butting Chewbacca, no stranger to the character-persecuting LAPD's strongarm tactics, seems to have learned little from his previous run-in with the law, but the loyal Wookiee should be commended for stepping in for emergency sidekick duty while Capeless Batman's not-so-trusty ward Chickenshit Robin disappeared into the Grauman's courtyard. And while it's easy to fall into the trap set by judgmental Hollywood Afro-Man's comments and paint all of the Polaroid-wielding heroes of Hollywood Boulevard with the same trashy brush, we should all take care to remember that the vast majority of them manage to conduct their tourist shakedowns in a classy, nonviolent fashion.
Bonus! Additional video footage from Jimmy Kimmel Live below! And also! Batman's previous defense of Chewbacca here. But wait, one more! The Montecito Heights, Above the City blog's firsthand account and a photo of the arrest here. And yet another for the road: Remember when the Batmen fought? Good Bat-times!