Governments' Lighter Side

Michigan police collar 'Batman'

Phony crime fighter charged with obstruction

Holy Batastrophe, the Caped Crusader may be headed to the slammer! Michigan State Police say a man dressed as Batman — complete with tights, a flowing cape and a pointy-eared mask — tried to horn in on one of their investigations. So they arrested him.

According to the Petoskey News-Review, state police responded to a vehicle accident in the community in northern Michigan. When officers arrived, the so-called “Petoskey Batman” was already there, decked out in his full costume.

Police began searching for a driver who fled the accident, using a K-9 unit to help in the hunt. But police say “Batman” kept getting in the way and wouldn’t leave them alone while they searched.

“Batman” said he was just trying to help. He was already in the area, he told the newspaper, and saw something that looked suspicious.

This was the second time “Batman” ran afoul of the law. In May 2011, the ersatz crime fighter was arrested after police received a report of a man dressed as Batman lurking on the roof of a downtown Petoskey business.

 When officers collared the man, he was fully armed for battle. He was carrying a baton-type striking weapon (the Bat Club, maybe?), a can of chemical irritant spray (Bat Gas?) and a pair of sand-filled gloves (Bat brass knuckles?).

That run-in got “Batman” sentenced to six months probation. His probation included not wearing any costumes.

After the latest incident, “Batman” faces felony charges of resisting and obstruction. The charges carry a possible two-year sentence, but since he now classifies as an habitual offender, the Dark Knight could be in the dark for much longer — up to 15 years, according to the News-Review. 

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Derek Prall

Derek Prall is a professional journalist who has held numerous positions with a variety of print and online publications including The Public Manager magazine and the New Jersey Herald. He is a 2008...
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