Ansel Rakestraw wrote:A sister has one of these - the rest of us can't wait till it dies and stops uglying up Ma's driveway on holidays.
frank - up in grand blanc wrote:Ansel Rakestraw wrote:A sister has one of these - the rest of us can't wait till it dies and stops uglying up Ma's driveway on holidays.
A guy here in the shop drives the Olds version of this to work every day. Probably 100 miles round-trip, and there's no sign of iminent death.
Self-styled Mich. superheroes rush to public's aid, but not everyone is glad to see them
It ain’t easy being a superhero.
Just ask Citizen, who was accused of breaking into a home in Eaton Rapids.
Or Bee Sting, who served three months in jail for wielding a shotgun during a dispute at a Burton trailer park.
Or Petoskey Batman, who was arrested twice in 17 months for disturbing the peace and refusing to leave a crime scene.
They are among a dozen Michigan residents who wear superhero costumes while fighting crime or bringing food or clothes to the poor.
But law enforcement officials say the real-life superheroes can cause as many problems as they solve.
This Michigan version of the Justice League allowed it may be a tad overzealous in trying to apprehend people who may or may not have been criminals.
“I took crime personally,” said Bee Sting, whose real name is Adam Besso, 37, a factory inspector from Rochester Hills. “I felt it was my job to stop criminals even if it hurt them.”
The superheroes said they fight crime by listening to the police scanner, patrolling neighborhoods and reporting anything suspicious to the police.
Petoskey Batman said he has stopped three domestic assaults, helped police catch a vandal and helped find a missing girl by reporting her disappearance on his Facebook page.
But police worry someone could get hurt.
“A lot of things could happen with costumed crime-fighters, most of them bad,” said John Calabrese, Petoskey public safety director.
The caped crusaders are scattered across the state. They range from an 19-year-old party DJ in Oxford to a 46-year-old engineer in Traverse City.
They have a loosely organized group, Michigan Protectors, which began in 2010.
They have an oath: “I (state your name) swear to uphold the core values of Truth, Courage, Sacrifice and Community Service.”
They have cool names: Venge, Batgirl, Azrael.
The dressed-up do-gooders say they’re sincere about doing good in what they see as a troubled world.
They seem to be looking for something more from their hum-drum lives.
“I want to do something amazing before I die, something that will make the world remember me,” said Citizen, whose name is Josh Lowery, 22, of Lansing.
Bruce Wayne, they are not. Several use food stamps and have been homeless. One recently sold his blood for money. Unable to afford a car, several patrol their communities by foot or bicycle.
Most of these self-styled superheroes are comic book aficionados whose escapism has become physical.
Comics infuse their names and appearances. They talk like they’re in a comic book.
Like comic book characters, they have elaborate back stories that describe how they became involved in fighting crime. Some of them may even be true.
Citizen reports crime
Josh Lowery often fantasizes about “living off the grid,” and having a girlfriend.
Lowery was booted from the Michigan Protectors for sending anime porn to a female member.
He receives disability payment for autism and attention deficit disorder.
As Citizen, he dresses in a ninja-style outfit and patrols Lansing on his bike several times a week, reporting anything suspicious to the police.
When he lived at his mother’s home, she didn’t like his superhero work so he would sneak out a second-story window, go to the top of the garage and jump to the ground.
After the Japanese tsunami in 2011, he went to the Eaton Rapids home of a Red Cross representative to ask what he could do to help. A neighbor told police Lowery entered the empty home.
He pleaded guilty to trespassing but the conviction was expunged under a state program where first-time offenders under age 21 complete a probation program.
Lowery, who was 19 at the time, declined to discuss the case.
'I am Batman'
Mark Williams has had a hard luck life.
He was bullied as a kid, dropped out of high school and was convicted of two felonies in his early 20s. He served three months in jail for theft.
Williams, 34, a part-time landscaper from Harbor Springs, had wanted to be Batman since he was 10. He got his wish in 2008, donning a homemade Batman outfit and patrolling Petoskey’s streets several times a week.
“As crazy as it sounds,” he said, “Batman isn’t just what I do, it’s who I am. It’s why I’m here. I am Batman. It’s the core of everything I do.”
Alas, trouble has continued to find him.
During a patrol in 2011, several drunks chased him to the roof of a hardware store. Police discovered him hanging off the ledge of the building.
Seventeen months later, the Michigan State Police were investigating an accident where someone had abandoned their vehicle after driving into a ditch.
Petoskey Batman, who has a police scanner, joined the search but the police asked him to leave. When he didn’t, they arrested him.
He pleaded guilty to trespassing and was given three months probation and five days of community service.
He's no longer armed
Adam Besso looks like a bumblebee.
As Bee Sting, he wears a yellow T-shirt, black safari vest, black motorcycle pants with yellow stripes, black and yellow sunglasses, topped with a black bush hat.
His Facebook page contains his “hero’s creed:” “I am Bee Sting. I am a protector. I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life. I fear nothing. I am Bee Sting.”
Besso is a twice-divorced Iraq war veteran who said he once had anger issues.
While patrolling a Burton trailer park with a 12-gauge shotgun last year, he got into an argument with a resident revving his motorcycle after midnight.
When the resident approached him, the two men struggled for control of the weapon and, as they fell to the ground, it discharged, firing into a vacant home.
No other Michigan superhero is armed.
Besso pleaded guilty to attempted assault and served 102 days in jail.
No longer allowed to carry a weapon, he remains bitter about the episode.
“Flint has all these murders and prosecutors are worried about me,” he said. “I don’t think they have any clue what they’re doing
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/2013 ... z2gsOQVRj8
guest wrote:The Conscience wrote:In case you wondered what happened to Bee Sting, be aware he's still a crime fighter, albeit it unarmed.
where is thy sting?
Mud Bug wrote:Regaled my wife this morning with stories about a kid in junior high who would eat anything, edible or not. He'd wad up a piece of notepaper and eat it. We give him pennies, nickels and dimes and he'd swallow them, one after another like jujubees. Pencils were like licorice sticks. He'd eat twigs, grass, and leaves like a cervid. He didn't have a lot going on upstairs but he wasn't a retard either- more like he craved attention and gobbling down marbles was his way of gaining an quick audience.
He moved away after 8th grade and I haven't thought about him for decades, until this morning. Curious if he ever made it to adulthood, I queried Facebook and there he was, not only still alive but looking healthy. Amazing what the human body can endure.
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