Faux Batman arrested in wake of Aurora shooting

faux batman arrested in wake of aurora shooting argintar

Pro Tip: If a mentally unbalanced gunman shows up at a theater during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises and proceeds to shoot up the place, it’s probably a bad idea to dress up as Batman and wage a one-man war against the darker impulses of humanity. Doubly so if you do this in public. Triply if the local populace is terrified that someone might go on a similar rampage in their otherwise peaceful burg. 

And yet, this is exactly what 23-year-old Pennsylvania resident Matthew Argintar recently decided to do. Like other real-world superheroes, Argintar had hoped to strike fear into the hearts of prospective evil-doers, but in the end he only managed to upset a number of innocent bystanders and get tossed in jail.

According to LeHigh Valley Live, Argintar was seen wearing “tactical pants, elbow and arm pads and a bulletproof vest underneath his clothing” as he patrolled the parking lot of a local Home Depot. This alone wasn’t enough to draw the ire of police, but when Argintar began approaching people in what he imagined was a friendly manner, said people reacted with understandable terror. LeHigh Valley Live reports:

Many customers retreated to their cars after seeing the man, said Matty Auer, of Mansfield Township, who pulled into the store’s parking lot just before 3 p.m. She had just picked up her 8-year-old son, his friend and her friend’s daughter from soccer camp and planned to quickly run into the store, she said. 

At first she thought the man was walking to or from a nearby airsoft arena and didn’t think anything particularly odd about his presence. When she parked her car next to the man, he began waving at the children. He smiled “creepily” and spoke inaudibly, she said. 

She then realized he was wearing a Batman mask.

“The only thing I could think of was what happened in the movie theater,” she said. 

She immediately thought of the July 20 shootings, where 12 people were killed during a premiere of the “The Dark Knight Rises” at a Colorado movie theater.  The costume’s connotation — whether or not intentional — terrified and angered her. 

“What the hell would possess someone to do this, even as a joke?” she recalled thinking.

Though Auer’s question is presumably rhetorical, Argintar did offer an explanation for his actions following his arrest. According to the would-be Dark Knight, this whole thing is a terrible mistake resulting from his own poor timing and enthusiasm for protecting the citizens of LeHigh. “I’ve been doing this for months. I’ve been going out at night and doing this, and meanwhile the one time I decide to go out in the day … We are out there to try and inspire hope because that’s what the people need right now: hope. … I’m not going out there looking for a fight,” Argintar said.

“What I was doing was not seen the way I wanted it to be seen. I understand it was (expletive) timing and everything. I get that.”

Despite his good intentions, Argintar has been charged with “being disorderly and unlawful possession of handcuffs.” Once in police custody he was taken to a local hospital for psychiatric evaluation. Doctors released him shortly after with a clean bill of mental health and Argintar has been ordered to stand trial in Mansfield Township Municipal Court on August 21.

This being the ‘net, we fully expect common reactions to range from “this dude’s mental” to “this dude’s mental, but I like his moxie.” We accept that, but being optimists, we want to find the most positive face for the growing trend of comic-book-inspired vigilanteism. Granted, Argintar has utterly terrible timing, but his motives are pure. This is a man who is just trying to make the world a safer place for those of us who don’t leave the house kitted out in riot gear. “The whole point of the movement is I don’t care if I look crazy, I just want to inspire hope.”

Crazy or not, that’s far more noble than anything we’ve done today.

Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (October 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

Stream till you scream with the best scary movies on Netflix, Hulu, and more

Need some ghoulish entertainment to get in the Halloween spirit? Check out some of the best horror movies streaming now. Whether you like creepy atmosphere or bloody jump scares, you'll find something to spook you.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in October, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Black Panther’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

Latest 'Daredevil' season 3 preview puts the spotlight on Wilson Fisk

Season 3 of Daredevil will premiere October 19 on Netflix, so here is everything we know about the next set of adventures featuring Marvel Comics' man without fear before the third season's debut.
Home Theater

Put your home theater to the test with these spectacular Blu-ray releases

What's the point of having all of that awesome home theater gear if you can't breed a little jealousy in your friends and family? We've put together this list of fantastic Blu-rays that have the goods to drop a few jaws.
Movies & TV

Peter Dinklage gets cryptic about two 'Game of Thrones' characters' fates

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable -- if you don't mind spoilers.
Movies & TV

Never miss a moment of the NBA season with our streaming guide

The NBA season is in full swing, and if you want to watch games online, you've got plenty of options. Here's our guide to the best ways to watch NBA games online, as well as some additional resources.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (November 2018)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in October and November 2018, from new original series to classic films.
Home Theater

From game consoles to 4K UHD spinners, these are the best Blu-ray players

Streaming may be popular, but the disc isn't dead yet! To get the very best picture and sound quality from your system, you need to be watching Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs. Here are the best Blu-ray players you can buy right now.
Home Theater

What’s new on Hulu and what’s leaving in November 2018

Our complete list of what's new on Hulu for November 2018, our personal favorites, and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on all the site has to offer -- and ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming…
Movies & TV

Deepfake A.I. puts a young Harrison Ford into ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’

A video created using the A.I.-driven Deepfake image-synthesis technique offers a look at what Solo: A Star Wars Story would have looked like with a young Harrison Ford in the lead role.
Movies & TV

MoviePass saga: Parent company investigated for allegedly misleading investors

Troubled subscription-based movie service MoviePass is making headlines on a daily basis lately, and not in a good way. Here's a timeline of events for the company once described as Netflix for movie theaters.