A man who wears a Mr. Incredible costume to entertain tourists on Hollywood Boulevard was convicted Tuesday of punching and body-slamming a Batgirl during a fight last year.
Muhammet Bilik, 35, was convicted of battery and sentenced to a day in jail, three years probation, 20 days of Caltrans work and 36 anger-management classes in connection with the Oct. 22 attack in front of TCL Chinese Theatre that was caught on camera and uploaded to YouTube.
This was just the latest in a series of Hollywood Boulevard cartoon characters behaving badly.
2005: Elmo, another Mr. Incredible and the villain from the “Scream” movies were arrested on suspicion of aggressive panhandling.
2007: LAPD officers arrested Chewbacca on suspicion of head-butting a tour guide. (Headline: “The Force Is All Over Chewbacca.”)
2009: Batman and Robin sought the help of police to deal with run-ins with CD vendors.
2011: SpongeBob SquarePants was questioned by officers after an altercation with two women.
2013: Two Captain Americas and a Spider-Man got into a brawl near the Hollywood & Highland shopping complex.
The behavior was so bad a few years ago that officials held a “superhero summit” to lay down the law. The characters have become an integral part of the Hollywood Boulevard experience, posing for pictures with tourists and providing sidewalk entertainment.
Costumed characters are sometimes abusive when tourists don’t pay after posing with them for pictures, according to some complaints. But police and city officials have been working to keep everyone in line.
City Atty. Mike Feuer said in a statement that Bilik’s conviction was important for Hollywood.
“Hollywood Boulevard is famous around the globe and attracts millions of visitors every year. We must keep it safe,” City Atty. Mike Feuer said in a statement. “The characters who interact with children and family along Hollywood Boulevard have to obey the law.”
In the video, which eventually went viral, Bilik is seen grappling with a woman dressed as Batgirl on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Chewbacca, Waldo from the “Where’s Waldo” book series and horror movie villain Freddy Krueger all try to intervene as peacekeepers. The video shows Bilik slamming Batgirl to the ground before it cuts off.
Mr. Incredible’s identity remained a secret to police for some time. But when Batgirl reappeared on the tourist thoroughfare a few weeks after the fight, police tracked her down and interviewed her about the video, Feuer’s office said.
The woman identified Bilik as her attacker and he was arrested. As part of his sentence, he’s ordered to stay away from the Hollywood Entertainment District – which includes the tourist-heavy stretch of Hollywood Boulevard – through the duration of his probation.
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