Getting Killed or Getting Arrested





    I feel it would be remiss if I did not warn you that working with the public in any capacity can be dangerous. Some RLSH's like me both fight crime and perform homeless outreach, but others specialize. Some do only crime fighting and others are only homeless advocates.


    One might think of the two the crime fighting might be the most dangerous, but sadly the only fatality so far has been a man who called himself “Brother John” who was a homeless advocate and fed the homeless on a regular basis. Here is an article I cut and pasted about his tragic story.

    Man shot while feeding the homeless with family


    July 27, 2011 8:28:44 PM PDT

    By Cecilia Vega


    OAKLAND, Calif. --

    The only way police can describe it is a "senseless act." A man is clinging to life after being shot in the head while feeding the homeless in East Oakland early Wednesday morning.

    It's not looking good. Police call these life threatening injuries. The man is on life support at a hospital

    in Oakland and homicide investigators are on this case. In addition to the man's wife being shot, a police source tells ABC7 one of the man's young daughters was also struck by a bullet. She and her mom are both expected to survive.

    He is known simply as Brother John and just about everyone in the area knows him. At least once a week, Brother John, his wife and their two young daughters pass out home-cooked meals to East Oakland's homeless.


    "He stops right in the middle of the road and gives you some food," Tony said.

    "He came out here and fed us last night -- fried fish and French fries," Roxanne said.

    That fish meal served in the shadow of the BART tracks and out of the back of Brother John's van on 47th Avenue may be his last and a man named Bill could be the last man he ever helped.

    "He passed Brother John's van, he stopped and he backed up, then all of a sudden three shots, I ducked, then two more shots," Bill said.

    The shooter fired into the van with 29-year-old Brother John and his family sitting inside.

    Police do not have a motive for a shooting they can only describe as senseless.

    "They were just trying to do a good deed and feed people that were less fortunate than they were," Oakland Police Offc. John Scott said.

    And while everyone on these streets knows Brother John's name, few seem to know more about him than that.

    Except Bill, who has called these streets home for more than 20 years. Once Brother John looked for help from the one person he was there to serve.

    "One time he was going to stop because he said, 'You know, Bill, I don't think people appreciate what I do for them,' I said, 'Brother John, as long as one person appreciates what you do for them, that's good,'" Bill said.

    Wednesday, there was nothing but appreciation for Brother John and the kindness he showed for those who don't often get it -- appreciation and anger.

    "That man don't have an enemy; it was a senseless killing," Bill said.

    Police are not releasing Brother John's identity for his safety. The witness, Bill, says the shooter was alone in an older model turquoise Astro van. There is a $25,000 reward for an arrest in the case.

    Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Police Department's homicide section at (510) 238-3744 or email [email protected]"


    Knight-Hood speaking. “Brother John” whose real name was Paris Powell died at 10:25pm Wednesday July 27th, 2011. He was 29 years old. Although “Brother John” was not an “official” member of the RLSH movement, probably like me he never heard of it, but he did everything that we do. He fed the homeless under a pseudonym and did it without looking for any praise, nor publicity. He ended up giving his life for his cause. People like this put the H in hero as far as I'm concerned. Brother John I salute you.


    As some of you know I began doing this in 89 because I was feeling suicidal. I started doing this work seeking a bullet in the head, but Brother John didn't. My “suicide mission” ended up becoming my reason for living, but he was not seeking to die. He was trying his best to keep people alive. People that no one else in the world cared about, but he cared.


    As far as I am concerned he took the bullet that should have been mine. This story really hit me hard when I read it and it still gets to me. So never think as long as you are just doing charity work and not actual crime fighting that you will be safe from harm, because that's not the world we live in.


    Each time you step out doors to go on patrol you may end up like Brother John, but don't let your fear stop you. Don't let anything stop you. Help others who need your help. Imagine a world where a million Brother John's are out there feeding the hungry. Hunger in the world might end over night. Imagine a world with a million real life superheroes out there fighting crime, what a difference they could make.


    On another topic and I would remiss not to mention, at the end of Tea Krulos book “Heroes in the Night-Inside the Real Life Superhero Movement” he chronicles a list of RLSH's who have been arrested. I'd like to re-post this to point out that you must be very careful to avoid getting arrested yourself.


    Here is the list and what they did?


    1. Phantom Patriot; Was arrested January 20, 2002 at the Bohemian Grove (Outside Monte Rio, CA) Charges; Five felonies-two counts of arson, one burglary, one possession of a billy club, one exhibiting a firearm in the presence of a police officer. (He is an good example of why being a vigilante does not work in real life. He spent 6 years in prison and was paroled in 2008)

    2. Viper; Was arrested June 30th, 2010 in Columbia, TN and charged with carrying ninja throwing stars and plastic batons. Verdict let off with a warning. (This shows you that carrying weapons is a mistake. Plastic batons got him arrested.)

    3. Phoenix Jones; Was arrested on October 9, 2011 in Seattle, Wa. and charged with four counts of assault for spraying attackers with pepper spray. The charges were dropped. (But not before he was arrested, unmasked and his identity revealed. He chose to unmask to reporters himself but that was only because his identity was now public record. This is a case where he did nothing but defend himself and still got arrested. I avoided that scenario by working covertly to stay off the police' radar.)

    4. The Ray; Was arrested on November 2, 2011 in Oakland, Ca and charged with Battery on a Police Officer and remaining at the scene of a riot. (Never never fight with a police officer. If they want to arrest you or unmask you you'd better comply)

    5. Bee Sting: Was arrested on April 26, 2012 in Burton, MI. and charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and wearing body armor during commission of a violent crime. He spent 100 days in jail and was then put on probation. (I remember this case. He and his rlsh partners confronted a motor cyclist in a park and the cyclist made a grab for the shotgun that Bee Sting was carrying and it went off causing some property damage. He was lucky no one was accidentally killed. Never ever carry a loaded shotgun on patrol. I used to carry a firearm but quit doing so. I do not recommend you carry any weapons. If you use your head you will never find yourself in a situation that you must fight your way out of in the first place. Don't become a George Zimmerman. There are only two things you can do with a gun. Shoot someone with it deliberately or accidentally or shoot yourself. Both have disastrous results.)

    6. Beast; Was arrested on July 31, 2012 in Mansfield Township, NJ and charged with being disorderly and unlawful possession of handcuffs. The handcuff charge was later dropped. (Now again I'm sure you did not know that it was illegal in some states to walk around carrying

      handcuffs. It is illegal in every state to unlawfully restrain someone. So if you imagine cuffing criminals and leaving them for police with a note as many comic book heroes do, forget it. They

      will release the criminal, take his statement and put out an APB for you. Always call the police and let them do the cuffing. I also remember this case. What did the Beast really do? He was

      hanging out in an Office Depot parking lot wearing a mask. He was offering to help others, but this was the day after James Holmes shot up the movie theater in Aurora. People today are very cautious naturally about seeing anyone in a mask or costume walking around due to today's headlines. Be mindful of that and that too is one reason I do not wear the mask on patrols except

      rolled up like a hat so it is there if I need it but I lose it as soon as the crisis is over and even so I have been lucky really never to have been arrested or unmasked doing this. I was a rank amateur in the beginning with no idea other than comic books about how to go about doing this? I made many many mistakes. There was no book like Roxanne Cai's, or Tea Krulos, to guide me and or websites like this one.)



    Those were just the arrests at the time of the publishing of Tea Krulos book which came out in 2013. Since then...



    ‘The Petoskey Batman arrested by police in Michigan

    ‘The Petoskey Batman’ busted — again — by police in Michigan

    BY Michael Sheridan


    Wednesday, October 3, 2012, 1:51 PM


    Mark Wayne Williams, known as 'The Petoskey Batman,' was arrested at the scene of a car accident while trying to 'aid' police.

    BY Michael Sheridan




    Wednesday, October 3, 2012, 1:51 PM

    The Dark Knight is in trouble with the law once again.

    Michigan police busted Mark Wayne Williams, known as "The Petoskey Batman," after he showed up at a car accident Saturday.

    The 33-year-old wanted to help, but police said he only got in their way.


    "Troopers were securing a large area for the search of a subject for leaving the scene of a personal injury crash when Williams took it upon himself to search the area in his Batman persona," the state police said in a statement.


    The Caped Crusader wanna-be insisted he could help police find the driver involved in the wreck, who had wandered off, according to the Petrosky News.


    Petoskey Department of Public Safety/AP

    Mark Wayne Williams was busted back in 2011 while donning this make-shift Batman costume.

    "He wouldn’t clear the scene and we had a canine out there and he kept screwing up the scent,” Sgt. Jeff Gorno told the newspaper.

    Since Williams wouldn't leave, officers arrested him. He was charged with obstructing police in an investigation and resisting.

    Authorities also confiscated his Batman attire. He is due back in court Oct. 18.

    This isn't the first time "The Petoskey Batman" has run afoul of the law.

    Last year Williams was arrested while dangling from the side of a building. During that bust he was found with "a baton type striking weapon, a can of chemical irritant spray, and a pair of lead-lined gloves."

    He was later sentenced to six months probation, during which time he was forbidden to wear his Batman costume.

    [email protected]; or follow him at


    Knight-Hood speaking. Now I would like to add my two cents to this. As far as I am concerned Mark did absolutely nothing wrong. It is not illegal to buy a Batman costume and wear it, nor stand on a rooftop wearing it. He was arrested solely because the police wanted to humiliate him as much as they could and the press eagerly joined in! The second time he was arrested was equally ridiculous. All he wanted to do was to help and had he not been wearing a Batman costume I have no doubt they would simply have told him to move along. Once again he was arrested merely because he was dressed as Batman in an effort by the police to discourage people from trying to be a real life superhero “For our own good”! To his credit he has refused to be intimidated or humiliated out of doing this.


    Mark was not the first man arrested for dressing like Batman. Indeed if you Google “Batman arrested” you will be surprised at just how often this happens!

    Indeed my first impulse when I got the idea to attempt to do this, was to do as he did and try and become a real life Batman. I went as far as buying a Batman costume, but swiftly realized that it was

    not only too impractical to work in but I felt ridiculous wearing it, so Mark's embarrassing arrest could easily have been my own.


    Other than dressing up like Batman probably the fastest way to get yourself arrested is by dressing up like a Ninja. Here is an article from the Telegraph I cut and pasted to illustrate my point.






    Real Life Masked 'superhero' ends up being arrested




    A comic book fan who dressed as a masked ninja to emulate his favorite superheroes and fight crime in his neigborhood ended up being arrested himself by police.

    By Richard Alleyne

    11:55AM GMT 13 Dec 2012


    He desperately wanted to be like his favorite superheroes, but Tanis Baker’s efforts at fighting crime were more comic farce than comic book.

    Patrolling his neighborhood as a masked ninja to “strike fear” into local villains, it was he who ended up on the wrong side of the law.

    The self-styled “eyes and ears” of the right-thinking people was arrested for possession of a wooden sword.

    The mild-mannered comic book fan told a court he turned to crime-fighting after being mugged by a

    local gang and bullied at school.

    Frustrated that his assailants had got away Scot free, he made himself a black martial arts costume complete with body armor and mask.

    In an imitation of the film Kick-Ass, he then armed himself with smoke bombs and a home-made wooden Samurai sword.

    The 21-year-old, who by day was a barman at a snooker hall, then crouched in the darkness in a nearby park ready to pounce on any troublemakers.

    Locals, who dubbed him the Ringland Ninja, said his heroic deeds included taking alcohol off under-age drinkers and literally “smoking out” any loitering gangs.

    But his crime fighting days were cut short in September when he was spotted by a police officer.

    Believing he was carrying a real Samurai sword, the officer called for backup and the police helicopter was scrambled and dog handler was called.

    Baker, of Ringland, Newport, South Wales, fled into nearby Beechwood park and hid in bushes near the children’s play area.

    He was arrested and led officers further into the park where he had hidden two rucksacks, one containing clothes and the other holding seven smoke grenades.

    He told police in interview he was a "vigilante in a costume" and that he wanted to help people in trouble.

    He said he believed he was the "eyes and ears" of the police on the streets and wanted to "strike fear" into criminals.

    The probation officer who assessed him said Baker was a fan of American comic book superheroes.

    His probation report said: "He seems to get confused between fantasy and reality and sometimes had trouble distinguishing between what was in comic books and what was real life."

    The court heard that in real life Baker is no superhero but works as a barman in a snooker club in Newport, South Wales.

    Louise Warren, defending, said: "Baker was bullied for many years and struggled growing up in his neighborhood.

    "He was attacked by a gang of youths while out with his sister a year ago, but police were unable to find the offenders.

    "Since then Baker has wanted to help the police to protect society."

    The court heard Baker was asked what he would do if he encountered a real crime and said he had not thought that far ahead.


    Paul Lavin, the chairman at Cambran Magistrates court, said: "You may have thought you were helping but you caused a lot of trouble.

    "Do not do this in future or else you'll be in big trouble."

    He was given a 12-month supervision order and ordered to carry out 60 hours unpaid work. He declined to comment after the case. “


    Knight-Hood speaking. While on line I have met a great number of young people who want dress in ninja costumes and carry swords, knives, Ninja throwing stars, etc to fight crime. Ninjas in history were assassins and people spotting you wearing such attire naturally assume you are a criminal or maniac. I'm quite surprised that more arrests have not occurred, but there have already been a considerable number of them. Once again simply Google “Man arrested for dressing like Ninja” and you will be shocked to see just how many times it has already occurred.


    As I said in a previous tutoral, in fiction there are 3 types of heroes; the hero, anti-hero and

    vigilante. In real life only the first category is acceptable to the public and law enforcement in this age of terrorism. The modern RLSH movement is composed of young people who dress in costume and walk the streets on patrol in plain sight. Even the comic book heroes who they are imitating do not do

    that. You'd never see Batman or Daredevil just going for a stroll down the sidewalk. If they did they too

    would find themselves surrounded by police cars with helicopters and dogs chasing them. I knew back in 89 if I dressed in a costume I would get arrested and probably taken to the nearest mental ward, so I chose to work undercover. The downside of course was that I never inspired anyone to follow in my footsteps, nor did it even really occur to me to try.


    By patrolling in costume though, the modern RLSH's started a world wide movement, so I have mixed emotions about it. The purpose of this site is to inspire others to take up the cause, so you will have to use you your own judgment as to what you will wear? I only want you to be as informed as possible that arrest is a real possibility if you choose to go that route.


    The other downside to the Ninja costume is they usually come equipped with swords as well. As you read even fake wooden swords can spell big trouble, but I have spoken with young people who want to carry the real thing. There is really only one thing you can do with a sword and that is stab

    people. The same goes for knives and other deadly weapons. The police really frown on those and since they are looking for a reason to arrest you anyway, why give them the perfect excuse? Phoenix Jones was arrested for pepper spraying an attacker and that was only pepper spray, and he was defending himself.


    By now you may be thinking, how can we go out into crime ridden areas completely unarmed? I've been doing it for most of my career. I too used to carry pepper spray, and other weapons and even a gun with rubber bullets for awhile. Truthfully I am very lucky not to be in prison for some of the stupid things I did early on. All I am asking is that you learn from my mistakes.


    When it comes to weapons and what you can legally carry, that varies from state to state, so it might be a good idea to check your local laws as to what you can carry? One thing though is universal, if you use any of them against someone else, even in self defense you can be arrested for assault. This

    is equally true for just using your fists. The main difference is if you are stopped by the police, and if you are wearing a cape and or mask, you can be arrested for even carrying weapons.


    There are some weaponless weapons as I call them. Things you can carry which could be used as a weapon if you are attacked that is not perceived as a weapon on sight.

        1. Hard wood canes. Canes are not illegal in any state. Some of them are made from very hard wood and if you know how to use it can be a very effective fighting weapon, but that is the catch you see. Remember that any weapon that you choose to carry can be taken away from you and used on you by your opponent.

        2. Hat pins or straight pins. These are perfectly legal and I still always carry one on my sleeve or somewhere I can get to it quickly. What on earth can one do with a hatpin? If you are suddenly grabbed from behind, pull out the hatpin or straight pin and jab them in the arm. They will let go. Even if someone grabs you from behind and holds a knife to your throat, stick them in the hand with the pin and they will drop the knife

          immediately. God forbid you should ever find yourself fighting to take a gun away from someone, (which happened to my friend Crossfire the Crusader) but if you do, stab them in the hand with the pin and they will let go of it instantly. Hat pins are longer straight pins and there are some things you must not do. If you stab someone in the chest you might puncture the pericardium and they will die instantly. Never stab someone in the throat, that too can be fatal. If you stab them in either eye it will not only blind them but may be long enough to go through it to the brain and that is instantly fatal. So too just behind either ear. All of those areas will cause death. Stabbing someone in the arm can paralyze that arm just like being stabbed with a knife.


        3. Make-shift black jacks; You can buy on line leather drawstring coin purses. One of those filled with quarters would make a heavy duty black jack but again if you use it on someone you will be arrested for assault if caught, but at least you can legally carry it.


        1. A Swiss Army knife contains a lot of useful tools and I carry one myself. The blade is less than 6 inches and therefore legal to carry, but again only use it as a weapon if you are in a life and death situation otherwise be prepared to go to prison.


        2. 900 plus lumen flashlights are a great non lethal weapon. Some even come with strobe lights to further dazzle your opponent.


        3. Invisibility; this is my preferred weapon of choice. By using disguise I walk invisibly on the street with no harassment from the police or criminals alike. Homeless people are invisible in our society, by making my whole costume just the mask I can become Knight-Hood in an instant and disappear just as quickly. This method has worked well for me since 1989. I hope you will consider it yourself.


    The bottom line here is to avoid trouble if at all possible. Always call the police as your first

    priority. They are the ones with the guns, man power and authority to use force. The only time that you

    should get involved is when there is no time to call the police. Even then, getting yourself killed is not helpful to anyone, so always use your judgment. Remember on the street stupid equals dead.


    Protect and serve


    UPDATE; May 8th, 2018; In Grand Rapids, Michigan an 8 year old girl named Neveah Alston died by getting hit by a car. She was feeding the homeless. Rest in peace Neveah.