As luck would have it, Batman was on the case.
Fort Worth Police Officer Damon Cole, dressed as Batman, was participating in a child safety fair at a local Walmart when duty called.
A greeter tried to stop a shopper who set off the store’s exit door alarm, but the man kept right on walking toward the parking lot, Cole said. So the officer, in full superhero uniform, went after him.
“I introduced myself (as a cop, not as the Caped Crusader),” Cole told InsideEdition.com Tuesday. “He went back in the store with me.”
Initially, the man denied stealing anything, Cole said. Then he broke down and admitted he had lifted four DVDs. Oddly, one of the stolen titles included The LEGO Batman Movie.
“I said, ‘You can’t steal my movie, man.’ And he laughed,” Cole said.
Because the merchandise was worth less than $100, the man received only a ticket.
He told Cole he was down on his luck, and had stolen the movies to surprise his 5-year-old kid. "I said, 'You’re only hurting yourself, man.'"
Then the man asked for a selfie. “It’s not every day you get arrested by Batman,” he told Cole. The superhero complied.
Cole isn’t just Batman. He’s also Superman, the Incredible Hulk and Iron Man.
He travels the country, at his own expense, visiting children who are battling cancer. He has also attended funerals for those who lost their fights.
He is fascinated by superheroes and says he just “wanted to make a difference” in the lives of ailing children.
“I have a healthy 10-year-old daughter named Savannah, so if I can bring happiness to a family that’s going through hell, it’s worth it to me,” he said.
He established a nonprofit group called Heroes and Cops so he could solicit corporate donations, he said. He works lots of overtime to pay for his gas and his costumes — the Incredible Hulk suit cost $5,000 and Batman’s price tag was $3,000.
“These kids really believe that’s who you are,” he said.
When he stops by, either at a hospital or a sick child’s home, he takes photos with them, and plays with them and sometimes takes them out for a drive in his tricked-out car bearing Superman and Batman insignias.
He tells his young admirers to stay strong, to not give up and to kick cancer’s butt.
And he always tells them, “You’re my superhero.”
He carries his duties on the job as a community policeman, as well, trying to connect with children who might initially fear law enforcement officers.
“It’s a way to think outside the box,” he said. “It’s a way to make a difference.”