It’s A Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s S…ome Guy In Green Tights
They call him "Wheel Clamp Man" - and wearing a green Lycra costume, red mask and a Lee stick-on moustache - he swoops around Perth helping drivers to escape a $135 fine by removing the clamps (we call them 'boots' here) from their cars.
Our Everyman hero removes the boots with a battery-powered angle grinder, and says he is taking an 'ethical stance' after having a bad experience with a boot himself. He tells the Perth Sunday Times,
'I got clamped myself. I went to a car park, pulled in, couldn't see any signs, and I must have walked less than 100m and I was clamped. It was a con because they were watching.'
Is he looking for fame? Cash? Chicks? It appears not. All he asks is that the recipients of heroic deeds make a donation to a homeless charity. Everyone is happy, right? Not so much. Police see him as a masked menace and want the public to report him. A police spokesman told The Times,
'He is committing the offence of criminal damage and if people have any info, they should contact Crime Stoppers and we will deal with him,'
Good luck with that officer. He vows to keep fighting the greedy city council, and helping innocent people escape from undeserved fines.
And, according to the Daily Mail, he's not the only guy (or girl) next door turning his/her vigilante fantasy into reality. In April, 36-year-old Adam Besso from Michigan found himself on the wrong side of the law after he allegedly fired a shotgun while fighting crime as his alter-ego Bee Sting. He was caught patrolling a trailer park with other 'superheroes', wearing a bulletproof vest, a black leather jacket with a bee logo, shin guards, knee pads and black leather gloves.
In another Michigan case, a 'superhero' known as Petoskey Batman was arrested last year on trespassing and possession of dangerous weapons charges.
In an unrelated case in April, the Bangor Daily News reported that another man dressed as Batman was arrested in Bal Harbor, Maine, for posting a threatening message on his Facebook page, and in 1995, a woman named Sarah from Brooklyn, New York was dumped by her boyfriend and then spent ten years as Terrifica - patrolling bars in red spandex to prevent men taking advantage of women.
Last December, real-life vigilantes patrolling Boston, San Fransisco and Milwaukee dressed as clowns, hawks, skulls or ninjas were unmasked to tell their crime prevention stories.
So, keep looking to the skies, Shreveport. Or, maybe to the ground. I'm hoping some fed-up citizen will eventually make an appearance as 'Pot Hole Man'. I can dream, can't I?