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“Batman” arrested after posting April Fool’s joke on Facebook

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While Maryland’s Caped Crusader continues to zip around in a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder to bring happiness into the lives of sick, hospitalized children, the man known as the Bay Harbor Batman in Maine was arrested over the weekend when he posted an April Fool’s joke on the Bay Harbor Batman Facebook page. According to a report by news station WABI, Chris Schwartz (the Bay Harbor Batman) publicly posted “I demand payment of 1 million Dollars or I will Blow up the Hospital. Once the funds are secured, Private Message me for Further Instruction.” The post was a reference to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight where the Joker, played by the late Heath Ledger, threatens to blow up a hospital in Gotham City.

barharborbatmanSchwartz’s intention was to parody the scene as coming from Batman rather than the Joker, hence the April Fool’s angle. When asked about the Facebook post, Schwartz stated “I didn’t even think of it after I posted it. I’m like, I’ve got to post something today, it’s April Fools. Let’s take Austin Powers and Batman and shake it up in my snow globe and see what comes out.” 

According to Bay Harbor locals, Schwartz is most well-known for dressing up as Batman and dancing around his boombox in public as well as appearing in local parades dressed as the Dark Knight.

Fans of the Bay Harbor Batman page took the post seriously and the local police were subsequently notified. Less than an hour after the post went live on Facebook, officers showed up at Schwartz’s doorstep and questioned him regarding his intention to blow up the local hospital. Schwartz’s residence is approximately two blocks from the Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor. According Officer Thom Tardiff’s account of Schwartz’s actions, Schwartz told the police that it was a joke, but then proceeded to ask the officers on the scene if they were there to deliver the “1 million dollars.”

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While his wife protested from the home, Schwartz was arrested by police and charged with “terrorizing” according to the legal document Schwartz posted on the Bay Harbor Batman Facebook page. After being released on bail, Schwartz removed the offending post from the Facebook page and altered the page description as well as the cover photo to dissuade anyone from believing that his posts are meant to be legitimate.

On Sunday afternoon, Schwartz posted “Please seriously people, none of this is real and should NOT in anyway be taken as such! Well, expect for the part about me getting arrested. I am still a little upset about that.”

The Hancock County District Attorney’s office hasn’t announced a decision if the “terrorizing” charge will be formally filed in court. According to the Bangor Daily News, previous complaints against the Bay Harbor Batman has involved noise complaints after the police warned Schwartz to lower the volume of his boombox on public streets. Beyond being warned on two separate occasions regarding the loud music, the local police department doesn’t have any other records of incidents involving Schwartz in the Bay Harbor area. Schwartz’s Facebook page for the Bay Harbor Batman has gained approximately 400 fans since the arrest. 

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