Every town needs a superhero, and Petoskey, Mich., is blessed with Mark Wayne Williams, 33. Dubbing himself the Petoskey Batman, Williams spends his nights, according to his Facebook page, “fighting Petoskey’s crime and bringing real criminals to justice.” Petoskey’s paid crime fighters aren’t always on board with Williams’ noble cause, however. On Saturday, police arrived at the scene of an auto accident where one of the drivers had fled the scene, and were using the help of a canine to track down the offending vehicle. By the time they got there, cops say Williams was already on the scene, dressed as Batman. According to State Police Sgt. Jeff Gorno, ”When we arrived, (Williams) was at the scene in his Batman outfit. He wouldn’t clear the scene and we had a canine out there and he kept screwing up the scent.” Gorno added, “We didn’t want the dog to track Batman instead of the accident scene, and he was getting in the way of officers who had a job to do.” Police confiscated Williams’ costume and booked him into Emmet County Jail. He was charged with one count of resisting and obstructing police in an investigation, a felony. He is currently out on bond and is due in court on October 18.
In May, 2011, police observed ”a male subject, dressed in a Batman costume, hanging off the western wall of [a] building” in downtown Petoskey. During that arrest Williams was allegedly found to be in possession of a baton, a can of pepper spray and a pair of sand-filled gloves. As part of a plea agreement under which all other charges were dropped, Williams pleaded guilty to one count of attempted resisting and obstructing a police officer. He was sentenced to six months probation, one of the conditions being that cannot wear costumes during that time.
After his 2011 arrest, Williams wrote from his jail cell, “I was birthed by the night. An avatar of justice in a world ruled by chaos. My quest has led me to the streets of Petoskey. That is until the strong arm of the law, the officers of Petoskey Public Safety and the Michigan State Police, apprehended me in the midst of a chase across the rooftops to stop the devious actions of some local hoodlums. The cops mistook me for a burglar and confiscated my weapons (apparently a truncheon, mace and my trusty pair of lead lined gloves prove too threatening in the cover of darkness). I am currently sitting in my cell at the Emmet County jail. They are letting me use their computer to monitor my Facebook page and Twitter Account.”