The Washington Post Unmasks Batman (That Is, the Batman Who Got Pulled over On Route 29 Last Week)
And All Was Right With the World
This fellow here, who gives his name, when the officers finally ask and realize that they can’t just keep calling him Batman, as Lenny, was pulled over on Route 29 in Maryland two weeks ago, for driving without visible license plates. Turned out, he had all the right registration and the plates were in the car (having been temporarily replaced with Bat-symbols), and, with good humor, the officers let him off with a warning and let him get on his way to the Georgetown University Hospital to visit sick kids. And while the video served to amused a great deal of the internet, the Washington Post’s Michael S. Rosenwald happens to know Lenny personally, and managed to get the normally publicity-adverse Batman-impersonator to open up.
Lenny, full name Lenny B. Robinson (I assume the B stands for Batmanand), is an entrepreneur from Baltimore County, MD, and in his free time visits local hospitals as Batman, handing out Batman paraphernalia like books, bracelets, and other toys to kids who are just trying to beat cancer, much less criminals. He visits hospitals several times a month, sharing $25k of gifts a year, and also does anti-bullying talks a high schools. He does not, however, do birthday parties. Rosenwald’s connection to him is as follows:
His parents are dear friends of my wife’s family, and I see him at holiday dinners where my 4-year-old son believes he is the real-life Bruce Wayne. “Daddy, he’s Batman, too,” my son will whisper to me. Though Batman has long been aware that I’m a journalist, he has never suggested I write about him. He does not crave publicity. Like his comic book namesake, he doesn’t seek credit for what he does.
The increased attention created by the video of Robinson being pulled over going viral changed his mind, however. He told Rosenwald he’d answer questions if the reporter accompanied him on a visit to the Children’s National Medicine Center. Even at the hospitals he visits now, people know him as the Batman from that video. Once the Route 29 references died down someone asked him where Robin was. “Home studying for the SATs,” Robinson answered, and truthfully. His teenage son, to whom he credits his fondness for Batman, sometimes accompanies him as Robin.
From the Washington Post:
His superhero work is limited to doing good deeds, part of a maturation process in his own life. In his earlier years, he acknowledges that he sometimes displayed an unsuperhero-like temper and got into occasional trouble with the law for fights and other confrontations. Putting on the Batman uniform changes and steadies him.
“Eventually, it sinks in and you become him,” Batman told me. “It feels like I have a responsibility that’s beyond a normal person. And that responsibility is to be there for the kids, to be strong for them, and to make them smile as much as I can.” He understands that might sound corny, but he doesn’t care.
You can read the entire Washington Post article here, but you might want to have some tissues handy.
(via Comics Beat.)