The Caped Crusader was a distance from Gotham City when he helped apprehend a villain at a Walmart in Fort Worth, Texas.
Damon Cole, a police officer in Fort Worth, was off duty and dressed up in a Batman costume, ready to appear at a children’s safety event at Walmart, when he noticed something was amiss.
“I showed up dressed as Batman and the alarm went off. A door greeter tried to stop a gentleman but he exited without talking,” Cole told Chron.com. Cole, dressed as the Caped Crusader, pursued the man through the parking lot. Luckily for the man, he didn’t need to use any tools on his utility belt to take down the alleged shoplifter.
I was at Wal-Mart as Batman for kids day. This male attempted to steal 4 DVD's,I stopped him as Batman. He asked me for a selfie as Batman. pic.twitter.com/Ut2LNg5usb
— Officer Damon Cole (@HeroesandCops) June 18, 2017
When Cole approached the man he identified himself as an off-duty police officer and attempted to bring the man inside the store. But the alleged thief didn’t believe he had done anything wrong. Eventually the man confessed to stealing four DVDs, one of them being …
“The LEGO Batman Movie”.
“You cannot steal my movie, come on,” Batman, er, Cole told the shoplifter after he admitted to stealing the movies.
Since the items the man stole amounted to under $100, the man walked away with a citation and a selfie with the Caped Crusader.
— Fil Alvarado (@FilAlvaradoFox4) June 19, 2017
While Cole says this was the first time he ever apprehended a suspect while in costume, there’s the potential it could happen again. The Fort Worth police officer has a nonprofit organization, Heroes and Cops Against Childhood Cancer, where he dresses up as various superheroes and visits children at hospitals and attends community events.
So far he has visited children in 17 states, but hopes to visit all 50 states. The organization came about when Cole first started out in the force and realized how many children he dealt with, as a police officer, every day.
“So around 13 years ago I had the Superman logo sewed on my bulletproof vest, that way whenever I would deal with a child on a call for service, I would tell them a secret but they would have to promise me that you will not tell anybody.”
Then like Superman, he would unbutton his shirt and reveal the Superman logo on his bulletproof vest. He says on the organization’s website this tactic was how he was able to get children to trust him, and trust that police were the good guys. From there Cole decked out two police cars, which he uses for everyday work and when he goes out and visits children.
Cole, who visits children and attends events on his own time, is currently looking to add the Batmobile to his fleet.
My custom Batman / Superman 2012 Dodge Charger with my take home police car. I use both of my cars to make a positive difference on everyone I come in contact with.
The police officer says that if he learns of a terminally ill child — or adult or teen — he “will drop what I am doing to make that happen as quickly as possible.”