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Costumed characters watch as L.A. police car trashed


LOS ANGELES » The Force clearly wasn’t with the guy who smashed out the windows of a police car on Hollywood Boulevard as Darth Vader, Superman and dozens of startled tourists looked on.

The Los Angeles police force was, however, and the bar-wielding assailant was quickly placed on the ground, spread out across one of the Hollywood Walk of Fame’s famous gold stars and handcuffed. Then he was taken to jail to be arrested for investigation of felony vandalism.

The incident — odd even by Hollywood standards — began to unfold about 1 p.m. Tuesday when a man holding a metal bar walked calmly up to a parked police car and began smashing out its windows. Then he reached inside the car and removed a laptop computer, carried it over to a kiosk, opened it and began typing.

"At first I couldn’t believe it," said Gregg Donovan who, dressed in a black silk top hat and red jacket, welcomes visitors to the Hollywood and Highland complex where the Academy Awards will be held next month.

"It was like I was in a movie," added Donovan. "Some of the tourists thought it was a movie."

As the car was being trashed, someone dressed as "Star Wars" villain Vader stood and watched calmly, holding his light sabre at his side. Another person, dressed as Superman, also stood nearby, his red cape flapping in the breeze.

From inside the safety of her room in a boulevard hostel, Australian visitor Danielle Mitchell filmed part of the scene.

"I’ve been here a lot. I know how crazy this place can be," she said Tuesday night. "But not crazy like that. That was very odd."

Mitchell missed the police takedown scene when a Hollywood tour bus pulled up and momentarily blocked her view. But Officer Bruce Borihanh said the man put up no resistance when authorities arrived.

His name wasn’t immediately released, and Borihanh said he didn’t tell police why he smashed the windows.

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