HOLLYWOOD (CBS) — A woman dressed as Catwoman on Hollywood Boulevard is speaking out Friday after a pepper spray incident.
Her name is Lydia and she tells CBS2’s Jeff Nguyen that she unleashed a canister of pepper spray Thursday night when she got into a scuffle with a character dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow.
According to Lydia, the Sparrow impersonator and his friend were harassing her for hours.
“And they were out of control… drunk out here,” she says.
The incident in the 6800 block of Hollywood Boulevard was witnessed by several people.
Lydia says the men bumped into her and tourists and called her offensive names for three hours straight.
“I said ‘Listen, I have had enough. I’m gonna warn you for one last time. If you do not get away from me and get out of my face, and stop harassing me, I will pepper spray you,’” she recalls.
The fight is the latest incident involving people who dress as characters to compete for handouts and donations from tourists.
Last September, a man dressed as SpongeBob SquarePants was involved in a brawl with two people, believed to be tourists and in 2010, Los Angeles police arrested a number of characters for aggressive begging.
As a result of those arrests, police learned a number of the characters had serious rap sheets.
Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Chairman Marty Shelton says we would see fewer problems if the city required performers to get permits.
In the meantime, Lydia says she’ll hold onto her pepper spray.
“Most of the girls out here, especially ones who work in the evening, always have it,” she adds.