British ‘Batman’ Apprehends Evildoer

England finally has its watchful protector, a silent guardian. He's not the hero the country needs, but he is the one it deserves.

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WEST YORKSHIRE POLICE

A still made available by the British West Yorkshire Police shows a man wearing a batman costume bringing a wanted man to a Bradford police station.

Updated: March 5, 2013 at 7:00 a.m. EST

England finally has its watchful protector, a silent guardian. He’s not the hero the country needs, but he is the one it deserves.

A man dressed as Batman is fighting crime in the northern city of Bradford, and he’s already proven himself to be a successful hero: The costumed crusader, dressed in the garb of the 1960s television Batman — not in the style of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy — turned in a wanted man to a police station late last month. The vigilante hasn’t made an appearance since then, but that hasn’t stopped news station camera crews from showing up, hoping to catch a glimpse of England’s new hero.

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Though security cameras appear to have captured the Batman on video, police had yet to identify him as of Monday. But on Tuesday morning, he went on British television to reveal himself. 39-year-old takeaway delivery driver Stan Worby told ITV’s Daybreak that he accompanied his friend Daniel Frayne, while dressed as the caped crusader, as a joke. Frayne had been wanted in connection with a number of offences, and was later charged with handling stolen goods and fraud-related offences. “At the end of the day it was a practical joke, just between me and Daniel,” said Worby. At the time, Worby slipped away into the darkness while police arrested the suspected criminal. The reason Worby looked like Batman is because he’d been dressed as the superhero while attending a soccer match in London.

The police hadn’t actually ruled out the possibility that the act of justice was actually a well-coordinated stunt. But Kathryn Sutcliffe, who works at a local joke shop, had an idea of who’s behind the mask — she sold an identical costume to a patron just a few days earlier. The possible caped crusader used a credit card, so Sutcliffe has his full name — although she says she won’t reveal his identity. She did, however, say the customer was a 20-something man with curly black hair, a local accent and apparently a great knowledge of Batman history.

“Usually they want the Dark Knight costume but he wanted this one,” Sutcliffe told the BBC. He wanted the one with the muscly chest as well. It’s like the one Del Boy wears in Only Fools and Horses.”

Meanwhile, Frayne is due to appear in court on Friday. Batman, or rather Worby, is quite possibly due to appear in times of trouble whenever you fire up the Bat-Signal.

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