It reads like the script of Kick Ass, but London has its very own caped crusader, cleaning up the city's filth in the dead of the night.
The Evening Standard has been reporting on a masked vigilante emerging from the shadows to fight crime over the past few weeks and the man - previously dubbed 'The Bromley Batman' has now come forward via an anonymous email.
"I just want to make a difference and leave this world a tiny bit better for the younger generation to inherit. I got sick of seeing crime on the news and in the papers with rarely anyone willing to step in and help people in need" he said. He also revealed that "from a very young age" he had trained in self-defence, whilst also having "picked things up from previous employment" and so, he stated: "I just remember one day thinking: 'I have the skills to help, so what am I doing with my life?'"
Two out of his three sightings have been in Bromley, with some incredible descriptions of his work. On 10 June, he defended a victim named Ken, who described his ordeal to The Standard. "I thought I was quite literally done for. Then, out of nowhere, a man about 6ft tall, dressed in black combat-style trousers and a tight muscle top, and wearing a black bandana mask, came running towards them. He kicked the biggest of my attackers to the ground, which must have knocked the wind out of him. Then he grabbed one of the others and swung him into the other one, and pushed them both into a prickly hedge. They were both screaming in pain. It actually scared the life out of me - as I'm sure it did the young chaps who attempted to mug me."
Another two thankful people then came forward the following day, with one describing how the masked hero tripped up a mugger and retrieved a woman's stolen handbag near Lewisham DLR station. "He gave me back my bag, and told me something along the lines of: 'Make sure this doesn't happen again'."
A further vivid description from a member of the public came thus: "One night, a couple of weeks ago, I was walking home after a night out with mates. A couple of drunk geezers were punching and kicking some other geezer. From what I overheard, it was about cash being owed. A tall geezer came running in wearing all black, with his face covered up as well. He grabbed one of them, attacking him, and put some kind of ninja lock on him. He pushed him while twisting this geezer's arm into the other fella. The geezer getting beaten up ran like a nutter, and with both the fellas on the floor the masked geezer scarpered quickly away himself. My mates all called me a nutter when I told them, but I know it happened."
The anonymous man has described the name "Bromley Batman" as "God awful" and said that having a superhero name had "never even crossed my mind, to be honest. As a young boy I always enjoyed The Shadow, so if any name then that one kind of makes some sense."
Talking further, he said, "I sat and watched crime being reported and [news about] scandals in parliament, and thought: 'This world is f***ed up and needs some help'... I don't go looking for trouble. I hope every time I go out that I don't come across it. [But] I do go to areas that generally are known to need help... I patrol lots of areas around London, and in some areas the police are much better than others. [Some] aren't fit enough to cope with crime in the 21st century", although he did add that most officers do "a great job".
Witnesses had reported him as sporting facial hair, which he confirmed, stating that "I do have a big, beautiful beard." He also said that he was "younger than 50 and older than 25" and also holds down a day job. He refused to reveal his true identity for fear of putting his family in danger.
"I am doing this for future generations to feel safer. I have seen the world get increasingly dangerous and unstable. We all need to stand up and be counted, not stand by when people need us. Let us please try to leave a better world for our children and learn from our previous mistakes instead of making the same ones over and over again. I'm glad the people I have helped are OK, but there isn't any thanks needed. Just raise a glass or something and then forget about it and get on with your lives - I wish you all well."
Who could The Shadow really be? Do you feel safer in London because of him? Will the bad guys go after him? Stay tuned to find out.
[via Evening Standard]