(For information regarding cancer research and to make a donation, please visit the American Cancer Society page here)
We here at DC Comics News love comic books. We especially love DC characters and reading about them every week (no surprise right?) However, one of our favorite stories to report on are those in which the heroes from those comic book pages seem to leap from the page and influence people in our world and drive them toward true greatness and heroism.
Officer Damon Cole of the Fort Worth police department in Texas has recently made the news after apprehending a shoplifter at a local Wal-Mart. Normally, this wouldn’t make the evening news but what sets this story apart is that Officer Cole did so while dressed as Batman – not off-duty while wearing a Batman logo t-shirt – we are talking about a full cape and cowl in the Texas heat!
A call went out from the local store that described a man who had attempted to steal some DVD’s (including a copy of the Lego Batman movie). Instead of ignoring the call since he was off-duty, Officer Cole answered the ‘Batsignal’ (in reality Officer Cole was already in the store) and stepped up to apprehend the man and give him a citation (according to Texas law, the theft was under $100 so only a citation can be issued).
In an interview with Fox News, an employee of the store said that the toughest part about the whole ordeal was believing Officer Cole was a real officer. Employee Anthony Drake said, “Batman says ‘I want you to know I have this Batman costume on but I’m an off-duty police officer.” One can only imagine that serious doubts were probably had by all but in the end everyone believed Officer Cole was who he said he was. To add to the already unusual situation. the shoplifter even asked for a picture with Officer Cole while he was still wearing the costume!
So now the big question remains: What was Officer Cole doing dressed as the Dark Knight? Well you might think that the reason was he was heading towards a comic book convention or just filling out childhood fantasies of being the Caped Crusader. In all seriousness, Officer Cole dresses as Batman in order to visit children in the hospital who are dealing with complicated and sometimes life-threatening illnesses. He was there as part of a special event benefiting children hosted by the store. Officer Cole also travels the country visiting children, on his own dime, to help children forget about their illnesses if but for a brief moment.
Truly Officer Cole is an inspiration to not only Batman fans everywhere but to the children he visits as well. If Officer Cole’s story has inspired you to do so, please visit the American Cancer Society’s page in the link at the top of the article. You can also find his Twitter page here.