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Real-life “Batman” can’t wear costume as part of probation

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Thirty-two-year-old Mark Wayne Williams of Harbor Springs, Michigan was sentenced this week to six months probation after pleading guilty to one count of resisting and obstructing an officer, an ignominious turn of events for the man known as "The Petoskey Batman." For Williams is one of those adults pretending to be superheroes, like the infamous Phoenix Jones of Seattle, Benjamin Fodor, who was recently arrested for assault.

Every day is Halloween for these ill-advised vigilantes, who take imitating art to a ridiculous extreme. Williams considers himself a "costumed activist," and as part of a crime-prevention group called "The Michigan Protectors," says the get-ups are meant to draw attention to the cause.

Williams was originally arrested back in May, after police discovered him dangling from a roof in his two-bit Batman costume, after having been apparently chased by a group of people. He had initally been charged with trespassing and carrying dangerous weapons, thanks to his trusty baton, chemical spray, and lead-lined gloves. As part of his probation, Williams cannot wear his Batman costume.

The Petoskey Batman has over 4,000 fans on his de rigueur Facebook page, clearly indicating the gray area that vigilantism represents. But if he's so enamored of wearing tights, I recommend he take ballet classes instead, before he slips off a ledge like Michael Rooker's girlfriend in Cliffhanger.