Caped crusader on mission to free cars

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The Independent Online

From Batman and Robin to Wonderwoman and Clark Kent, caped crusaders have a proud tradition of intervening on behalf of lesser mortals.

Now comes news of that tradition being continued on the streets of Britain in the form of a self-styled superhero who flits across the urban landscape releasing motorists from the tyranny of the wheel clamp using a petrol-driven circular saw. Meet Angle Grinder Man.

Dressed in a blue body stocking, black cape and matching pants, "AGM" provides a free, albeit illegal service in protest against "anti-car" policies such as clamping, the central London congestion charge and speed cameras.

Motorists who have been clamped are encouraged to contact AGM, who is on duty in Kent during the week but is prepared to travel to London at weekends. He has reportedly struck in Islington, Wembley and Greenwich. According to some reports, he has helped to cut free more than 20 cars since his crusade began in June.

He said on his website: "There is a comedy side to my activities because I like to entertain and also because it winds up the authorities and makes it harder for them to deal with me.

"My obsession with wheel-clamping is actually a rebellion against a much deeper malaise, namely the arrogant contempt that politicians hold for the people who put them into power and who they claim to represent."

The 38-year-old, who earns a living as a driver andchildren's entertainer, started the service after he cut his own vehicle free to applause from passers-by. "People were standing around cheering me - it was fantastic," he said.

In a well-practised drill, he informs his clients of the legal risks involved, then checks CCTV cameras before wielding the saw. He admits that his activities are risky, but says that they are worth it because he "likes wearing the uniform".

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: "Both Angle Grinder Man and the owner of the vehicle could be charged with criminal damage if the driver admitted that they consented to the act. If they claim it was done without them they could be exempt pending investigation. Angle Grinder Man would face arrest if we found evidence."