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Hollywood Spider-Man caught by LAPD web

November 12, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A web of drama on Hollywood boulevard unfolded as an impersonator was arrested for being less than a "friendly neighborhood Spider-Man." Celebrity impersonators are a common sighting on Hollywood Boulevard but it is uncommon to see them get arrested. There's been controversy over the years about their presence and the tips they get from tourists. In this case, it had nothing to do with tourists but they're concerned that this could be bad publicity.

Spider-Man was caught by the web of the LAPD. It was an image that was hard to forget: handcuffed and taken into custody after he allegedly hit someone on the street.

"It was a great shot. There was five policeman and Spider-Man walked right there in handcuffs. It was a nice shot," said Elvis impersonator Michael Romeo.

The Spider-Man impersonator is Christopher Loomis. Eyewitness News interviewed Loomis back in 2006 for a different incident, an altercation between another character and a tourist.

"There is a lot of things that happen here on the boulevard with so many people coming in meeting characters. I would actually encourage more oversight or maybe more police," said Loomis in 2006.

In this case, police say Loomis and the person involved in the altercation knew each other and this was a personal dispute, not tourist-related. Even though the other person didn't want to press charges, the LAPD arrested him after his records showed that he had outstanding misdemeanor warrants.

"The guy is actually a really nice guy. I can't even imagine he would have ever thrown the first punch if there was a punch thrown," said actress Jasmine Rose.

From the Incredible Hulk to Darth Vader, these impersonators are on the streets of Hollywood all the time, taking pictures with tourists for tips. Over the years, several have been arrested for allegedly getting a bit too aggressive. They say they've met with the LAPD to make sure everyone behaves properly. Some of the impersonators explained that they were professional and were worried that the incident would make them look bad.

"It wasn't a tourist and I hope people take that into consideration," said actor Dave Mitchell. "Everyone that's down here is not a panhandler. You have some real actors down here that are trying to make it within the business."


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