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

Premium network, premium content: The best movies on HBO right now

HBO always has a solid selection of feature-length films on tap, but the offerings rotate fairly regularly, and browsing fatigue can set in given the sheer volume of the catalog. Here are our current favorites.
Movies & TV

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

Amazon Prime brings more perks than just free two-day shipping. Subscribers get access to a huge library of TV shows to stream at no extra cost. Here are our favorite TV shows currently available on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in August 2018, from ‘Blue Valentine’ to ‘Jurassic Park’

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

Study up for season 8 with the best 'Game of Thrones' theories

Season 8 of Game of Thrones is still on the horizon, meaning there's still time to brush up on the best 'Game of Thrones' theories. Whether you're one of the last adherents of the Cleganebowl, or a King Aerys truther, here are our top…
Music

Listen up! These are the best movie soundtracks of all time

Whether you're a lover of beautifully composed original scores or a fan of perfectly compiled background music, these are the best movie soundtracks of all time — from Star Wars to Garden State.
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

'Westworld' creators hint at characters they have big plans for in season 3

HBO wrapped up the second season of Westworld with a finale that asked as many questions as it answered, leaving fans eager to know more about season 3. Here's everything we know so far about the show's next act.
Movies & TV

Was there a 'Captain Marvel' Easter Egg In 'Avengers: Infinity War'?

Academy Award winner Brie Larson will play Captain Marvel in the upcoming Marvel Studios movie hitting theaters in March 2019. Here's everything we know about Marvel's first female-led superhero movie.
Movies & TV

MoviePass re-enrolls customers, while Costco offers refunds

MoviePass is reportedly re-enrolling users who had recently canceled the service, giving them an error message when they try to jump ship again. This comes as part of the launch of a new plan from the struggling company.
Movies & TV

'Star Trek: Discovery' has found its Mr. Spock for season 2

The crew of the U.S.S. Discovery will return for more adventures on CBS All Access in the near future. Here's everything we know about Star Trek: Discovery season 2, from the cast and themes to the season premiere.
Home Theater

Dish Network or DirecTV: Which is the better choice for you?

So, you’ve chosen to go with a satellite television provider. Check out our quick rundown of what both Dish Network and DirecTV offer in terms of content, hardware, and pricing, and why you might choose them over streaming services.
Movies & TV

Latest 'John Wick 3' photo confirms the return of two powerful characters

The third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, John Wick 3: Parabellum, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about the movie so far.
Movies & TV

Tarantino casts actor to play Bruce Lee in 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'

Quentin Tarantino's ninth feature film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, uses the infamous 1969 Manson murders as a backdrop to tell a story set in bohemian Los Angeles. Here's everything we know so far.
Movies & TV

David Harbour is 'taking risks' with Jim Hopper in 'Stranger Things' season 3

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season.