Throwing A Fit Over Getting Fit

"I don't think this is right," said Jim Birch, a music executive, while getting arrested in Santa Monica.

The cops have finally caught up with Birch. He's been on the "run" for years.

That is, running and exercising, in one of the most popular fitness destinations in the United States. CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy has the story.

You see, Birch is the push-up bandit.

"Do you have ID?" asked the police officer.

"I do," said Birch. "This is ridiculous."

Perhaps. But in Santa Monica they did ask nicely, that Birch and hundreds of others stop using this multimillion-dollar neighborhood as their outdoor gym.

One annoyed neighbor documented the recent crowds - complete with a massage table set up on the boulevard median.

And the problem there is growing, one step at a time.

"In about an hour there will be about 100 people here," complained one resident.

They come from miles away for 172 reasons. One exercising offender said there's a particular site that attracts him to the area, "Steps in Santa Monica. Can't beat that."

It's a set of stairs, considered to be one of the best workouts in one of the best settings in the country.

"Yeah, I'm dying right now," said someone who had just completed a rigorous stair workout.

"Sensational," and "It's a blessing, man," said two others.

But this stairway to heart-rate heaven has become hell for neighbors such as Tom Baker.

His driveway passes over a landing on the stairway. But he can't always exercise his right of way.

"I am in my own driveway and people are pounding on the hood of my car," said Baker.

"Saying get out of our way?" asked Tracy.

Baker simply replied, "Yes."

The stairs were installed in the 1920's so the kids who lived up top could get to the school down below. But about 15 years ago it became an exercise destination, and now on any given weekend 1,500 people come here to work out.

"That is a safety issue not an elitism issue," said another resident.

Elaine Culotti wants to muscle out the growing number of personal trainers who use the stairs to make money while making her neighborhood more crowded.

"It is a bit like Disneyland," said Culotti. "Seriously, it is like that."

Most of the neighbors don't want the stairs shut down. They do want the city to limit access to certain hours of the day and ban the trainers.

The fitness fanatics are addicted. "It's like a drug out here," one said.

So it could come down to the survival of the fittest.