On the mean streets of Gotham City, he uses his physical prowess, intellect and state-of-the-art weapons to snare villains.
Over on the streets of Bradford, however, it seems Batman’s targets give in with a little less coercion. A caped crusader astonished officers and passers-by when he dragged a wanted man into a police station in the city centre before vanishing into the night.
But observers were also quick to note that the brave vigilante appeared somewhat lacking in the menace and muscle that one might expect from a superhero.
CCTV footage shows the slightly overweight Batman taking a suspect into the station, where he calmly waited for the duty officer on reception and then told him: ‘Here you are, it’s over to you now.’
The wanted man, Daniel Frayne, explained who he was to the officer and moments later Batman was gone.
The absence of a Batmobile to spirit him away was just one of the clues that the mysterious masked figure wasn’t quite who he appeared to be. The footage also made it clear that Batman was not required to use any physical force to detain his subject – leading police to conclude that the superhero was simply a friend of Frayne’s in fancy dress.
Still, even if the Bradford Batman was really the Joker, it didn’t stop pictures of him causing a frenzy on the internet.
After being escorted into Trafalgar House police station at 1.35am last Monday, Frayne was arrested on suspicion of burglary, fraud and breach of a court order. He was later charged with handling stolen goods and fraud-related offences and is due to appear before the city’s magistrates on Friday.
A police spokesman said: ‘The person who brought the wanted man into the station was dressed in a full Batman outfit. His identity, however, remains unknown. The Batman outfit was a normal fancy dress costume and whoever had decided to put it on knew the suspect was wanted by police.’
Residents on the street where Frayne lives with his girlfriend said police had been looking for him for several weeks. ‘They drove up and down here every day to check on the house and we’ve not seen him around here for quite a while,’ said neighbour Kaley Wilkinson, 27.
Wherever the superhero came from, he certainly caused a stir. Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Rev Nick Baines, said: ‘I think it’s dead funny. The only thing that concerns me – judging from the waistline and tights – is that he doesn’t look that fit.’
A police source said: ‘We think it’s a friend who obviously thought this would be a funny thing to do.’