Bradford mystery: Man dressed as Batman hands over suspect to police

The Caped Crusader's identity remains a mystery

It was the stuff of comic book fantasy. Batman returns to a British city clutching his prey by the scruff of the neck as he delivers him into the hands of a grateful police force telling an astonished desk sergeant: “I’ve caught this one for you” before stalking off into the night.

Yet hopes that the Caped Crusader was once more singlehandedly cleaning up Gotham City – or in this case Bradford city – may not have been quite what they seemed.

A West Yorkshire Police community Facebook site revealed images of someone dressed as the celebrated superhero as he handed over a 27-year-old man wanted in connection with a series of alleged crimes including handling stolen goods, fraud related offences and breaching a court order.

The images prompted an international Twitter storm and global media follow up as the public proved that their love of the moral certainties embodied by the masked vigilante – albeit one who had grown a little paunchy since his last big screen outing - remained undimmed more than 70 years after his DC Comics debut.

TV news crews were soon encamped outside Trafalgar House police station in Bradford where the extraordinary handover occurred in the early hours of the morning on 25 February. One media organisation even sent along their own journalist donning the celebrated grey and black uniform in a bid to enliven proceedings.

Meanwhile reporters were dispatched to the nearby Butterworth estate in a bid to track down the illusive and modest crime fighter.

But police would only confirm that the 27-year-old man was due to appear before Bradford magistrates on Friday following his arrest.

“The person who brought the wanted man into the station was dressed in a full Batman outfit. His identity, however, remains unknown,” a spokesman said.

However it emerged that the 27-year-old was responding to an earlier social media appeal by the Bradford South division of the West Yorkshire Police to give himself up prompting speculation that Batman was rather better known to his “quarry” than some might have hoped.

Bradford South neighbourhood inspector Alan Rhees-Cooper that officers had made diligent inquiries in the local community to locate the 27 year-old man. “This often leads to members of the community assisting the police or to the individual themselves voluntarily attending the police station to speak to the police,” he said.

Officers had been visiting friends and relatives of the man, who was also wanted in connection with an offence in Grimsby, prior to him giving himself up.

Police community support officers gamely conceded the joke was on them.

“Ultimately Batman beat us to the punch...... Until Next time Batman, Until Next time!!!” said one. “No assistance from Robin he was outside keeping the Batmobile running we believe,” said another.

Bradford West Respect MP George Galloway said: “Contrary to rumours sweeping Gotham, I am not the Bradford Batman, However I take my hat off to him and wish him luck in the future.”

The city’s Labour Council Leader David Green warned the public not to take the law into their own hands. “I have yet to see a torched Batman image on the night sky above Bradford,” he said.

”Clearly, whoever this individual is has a good sense of humour and a sense of the surreal. I think it shows the quirkiness that we have all come to love about Bradford,“ he added.

Bishop of Bradford Rt Rev Nick Baines said: ”I just think it's dead funny - and so typical of Bradford. The only thing that concerns me - judging from the waistline and tights - is that he doesn't look that fit.“

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Britons buy more than 30 million handsets each year, keeping them for an average of 18 months
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Alloysious Massaquoi, 'G' Hastings and Kayus Bankole of Young Fathers are the surprise winners of this year's Mercury Music Prize
musicThe surprise winners of the Mercury Prize – and a very brief acceptance speech
Arts and Entertainment
TV Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly. Winners of the 'Entertainment Programme' award for 'Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway'
musicAnt and Dec confirmed as hosts of next year's Brit Awards
Arts and Entertainment
Orson Welles made Citizen Kane at 25, and battled with Hollywood film studios thereafter
film
News
video
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain