So It Begins: Police Arrest Real-Life Superhero Over Aurora Fears

08.07.12 7 years ago 21 Comments

A New Jersey man who likens himself a real-life superhero was arrested last Tuesday after allegedly approaching people in a Home Depot parking lot and saying, “Anyone need some help? I’m here to save the day.” Matthew Argintar, aged 23, was wearing a Batman mask, bulletproof vest, elbow pads, and a cape. Mansfield Township police say they also found handcuffs on his person. He was taken to Hackettstown Regional Medical Center for evaluation and later charged with disorderly conduct and unlawful possession of handcuffs. If convicted, the charges carry a maximum sentence of seven months in jail. Seven months. Argintar’s attorney, William Ware, called it a “a classic case of overkill”. Thanks, Captain Obvious, Esq.

Argintar, an Army veteran, said he was trying to inspire hope by dressing like a superhero. He told the Lehigh Valley Express-Times he had been “doing this for months” at night. “We are out there to try and inspire hope because that’s what the people need right now: Hope.” […] Ware acknowledged people are on edge after [that taintbadger whose name I won’t print here] allegedly opened fire on a crowded theater in Aurora, Colo. during a showing of The Dark Knight Rises. “The timing is unfortunate,” Ware said. “Some people might disagree with the timing, but from his viewpoint it was perfect timing, because he thought he was trying to turn it on his head.” [CBSNewYork]

Here with a counterpoint is someone who doesn’t think Argintar was inspiring hope. Take it away, catastrophizing soccer mom!

Many customers retreated to their cars after seeing the man, said Matty Auer, of Mansfield Township, who pulled into the store’s parking lot just before 3 p.m. She had just picked up her 8-year-old son, his friend and her friend’s daughter from soccer camp and planned to quickly run into the store, she said. At first she thought the man was walking to or from a nearby airsoft arena and didn’t think anything particularly odd about his presence. When she parked her car next to the man, he began waving at the children. He smiled “creepily” and spoke inaudibly, she said. She then realized he was wearing a Batman mask.

“The only thing I could think of was what happened in the movie theater,” she said. […] Auer drove away from the man and asked a Home Depot employee to call 911. [Lehigh Valley Express-Times]

That’s the only thing you could think of? Really?

When the man reached into his pocket, to grab what turned out to be a phone, Auer called the police. “You just didn’t know what he was capable of,” she said. [Lehigh Valley Express-Times]

Yes, he might have been capable of . . . making a phone call. Perhaps even texting someone. And what if he tried to play Words With Friends? Harrowing. We don’t know how she survived. So brave. So brave.

I’m torn. On one hand, I really don’t like when people put on masks in settings where people wouldn’t expect to see a masked person who isn’t robbing the place. Doing any prank or stunt that could reasonably trigger a panic is a classic douche move. On the other hand, Matty Auer sounds like she’d be real fun at parties. There are no clear winners here.

[Sources: CBSNewYork and Lehigh Valley Express-Times via Bleeding Cool]

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