There are some celebrities you just don't want to push around.
Turns out celebutante Nicky Hilton is one of them. The hotel heiress was standing outside an IHOP in West Hollywood at 5 a.m. Saturday when a homeless man shoved her from behind onto the hood of a car.
When a waitress ran out to see what the commotion was, a Los Angeles sheriff's deputy, taking a coffee break inside IHOP, followed. By then, Hilton had matters in hand.
More angry than hurt, the waiflike 25-year-old "announced that she was placing the man under citizen's arrest," L.A. County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore told ABCNews.com.
Police arrested the man, Michael Broadhurst, 50, cited him for misdemeanor battery and released him that afternoon.
Whitmore said Hilton did not take matters completely into her own hands, because a deputy was right there on the scene -- but she went further than many people would.
"A lot of times in those situations people don't want to prosecute," he said. "She was desirous of prosecution and we certainly concurred with that."
The news that Hilton is one tough cookie -- not to mention that she dines at IHOP -- may come as a surprise, but she is not alone. She joined other celebrity vigilantes who seemed unafraid to fight back when attacked.
Whether fending off a knife-wielding mugger or chasing down a hit-and-run driver, these celebrities seemed less concerned with being celebrities than with taking charge of the situation.
For nine seasons, McCullouch has played the ballistics expert on "CSI," but he said it was boxing training that saved him when a mugger attacked him with a knife on the New York subway in January.
McCullouch was riding the A train from Kennedy Airport to his New York apartment at 2 a.m. on Jan. 17.
"I ride the subway all day and all night," he told ABCNews.com, "and I never felt unsafe."
That night was no exception.
McCullouch, 41, noticed a couple of families with children break-dancing at one end of his car. So when his iPhone battery died, he didn't think too much of opening up his laptop to recharge it.
After three or four stops, however, the car's environment shifted, and McCullouch said he noticed a guy standing in front of him, just staring.
As the train doors opened, McCullouch said the guy lunged for his laptop. McCullouch, who had just finished three days of training with his boxing coach in Los Angeles, said he held on and gave the mugger a "body shot to the chest."
"I'm not saying it was a smart thing to do at all," he said. "But instinctively my body and consciousness were already in that defensive state of being.
"I started screaming, 'Get the f*** away from me," he added. "Either I punched or kicked him, and he backed up. That's when he pulled out a knife from a plastic bag, but it didn't register to me. The doors opened, and everybody ran out of the car. It was just me and him alone. I was determined to stay in his eyes and challenge him as much as could."
McCullough said the man lunged again for his laptop, this time trying to plunge the 10-inch long kitchen knife into his back. Fortunately, the knife did not penetrate his leather jacket, he said.
"When I felt the length of the knife, that's when it registered: That's a knife," he said. "That's when I went a little ballistic."
McCullough said he let the guy know "from my very core that he had no power over me." He said he punched him again just as the doors were closing.