Busted, old chum! Image: edenpictures/Flickr/CC BY

A Michigan man dressed as the superhero Batman was sentenced Monday to six month probation after he was charged with trespassing and carrying a concealed weapon. Unmasked in a court of law, the crusader will have to hang up his cape — for a while at least.

Dark Knight detained

Mark Wayne Williams was arrested in May in Petoskey, Mich. Officers, responding to reports of Batman being spotted on a roof, found him dangling off the side of the building by a rope. Some reports say police the officers helped him up, some say he was “rescued.” It is not clear whether the would-be superhero was stuck.

After being hauled back up onto the roof, Williams was arrested when the officers learned he was carrying a concealed baton, a can of chemical spray irritant and lead-lined gloves. He was charged with carrying concealed weapons and for creating a disturbance.

An impressive fan-base

Williams, 32, of Harbor View, Mich., has garnered 4,000 fans on his “Petoskey Batman” page on Facebook. Several years ago, he caught police attention for impersonating The Crow, another comic book character, in public, according to Petoskey public safety chief John Calabrese.

When asked why Williams was wearing the Batman costume, Calabrese responded:

“He really didn’t offer us any explanation. Our officers did not interrogate him at any length.”

According to the CBS Crimesider page, however, Williams said that he had been inspired to don the Batman costume because of the efforts of real-life “superheroes” in other cities who fight crime and aid the homeless.

Holy plea bargain!

Monday Williams pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of resisting/obstructing a police officer and received six month probation. He was also ordered not to wear any costumes — Batman or otherwise — for the next six months. It seems that this Halloween Williams will not be attending any costume parties.

Superhero vigilantes

The sentence comes at a time when police are cracking down on the vigilante efforts of so-called real life superheroes. Earlier this month, Benjamin Fodor — in his guise as superhero Phoenix Jones — was arrested in Seattle for allegedly breaking up a brawl with a canister of pepper spray.


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