Roy Exum: It’s "Batkid Day Forever!"

Sunday, November 17, 2013 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

When young Miles Scott rode to San Francisco with his family from their home in northern California on Thursday, the precious five-year-old had just been told his 3½-year battle with leukemia was finally in remission and, as the family celebrated in San Francisco, he would get a genuine “Batkid” to wear like his superhero Batman. But minutes after he got suited up, there was a telephone call. Urgent!

“Please, Batkid, we need your help,” said Greg Suhr, who really is the police chief in San Francisco. “Batman is bringing the Batmobile outside right now!” and suddenly, as sirens screamed and lights flashed, a black Lamborghini with Batman decals on its $300,000 hood and doors, roared to a stop with a heavy escort of real cops on motorcycles.

That’s when the greatest-ever dream of the Make-A-Wish Foundation captured not just the hearts of San Francisco but an awaiting world as well on Friday. You see, a social media company got in on the caper and, by the time San Francisco had morphed into a modern-day Gotham, over 2,000 volunteers were involved in the production and over 10,000 crowded Union Square by mid-afternoon when Batkid was honored for his heroism.

You need to know that when the five-yearold saw the Batmobile, he climbed into the booster seat while his younger brother was hustled into an identical Lamborghini right behind. Wait! A message from The White House was pushed through the window. “Go get ‘em”  President Obama ordered (really!)

So with police blocking downtown streets and hundreds of onlookers holding signs and cheering the delicious parade as it zoomed along, they came to a scene where a woman was gagged and tied to the train track. Little Miles, his fists clinched and his expression tight, ran alongside Batman and they finally defused a plastic (fake) bomb only seconds before the cable car came rumbling around the corner. That was close!

But then the Batphone said there was a bank heist going on and “The Riddler” was stealing everyone’s money. But now there were so many people on the sidewalks, all alerted by Twitter, Facebook and other means, the police could hardly get through. Crime-scene tape had to be placed around telephone poles to keep the crowd from blocking the rescue.

Again little Miles raced into the bank and nabbed The Riddler before he got the cash. Batman said it was time to eat so with thousands of people outside Macy’s chanting “Batkid! Batkid!”  (and grown men as well as women weeping unashamedly) an elevator had been secured to zip the two superheroes and a battalion of cops to the Burger Bar on the roof.

Everybody said it sure was good to get a breather but just before Miles got his last bite, the police radios crackled. “We need Batkid! The Penguin has kidnapped Louie the Seal (mascot of the San Francisco Giants). This is terrible!”

By now people had climbed trees to snap pictures of Batkid running, his fists clinched as he climbed back into the Lamborghini’s booster seat (not original equipment) and they roared to the ballpark where Louie had been tied up and locked in the batting-practice cage. As they freed the delighted mascot, Batkid got the drop on The Penguin and marched him to the back of an awaiting police cruiser. Thank goodness Gotham was secure.

The ride wasn’t over. When they got back to a chanting Union Square, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee was waiting with a Key to the (Grateful) City, much to the delight of the roaring crowd. A clothing company handed his mom a certificate for $10,000 worth of “undercover” street clothes for when Batkid needed to be on the sly. U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag unveiled an “indictment” charging The Penguin and The Riddler with conspiracy and, along with (real) FBI officials, praised Batkid for his courage. Miles responded with a couple of fist pumps.

When Mayor Lee proclaimed Nov. 15 as “Batkid Day Forever,” the crowd went crazy, quite literally thousands of Smart Phones hoisted to take pictures, and after somebody draped an FBI “Raid” jacket on his shoulders and crowned him with a S.F.P.D. hat, the crowd went bonkers again. Then there was Barack Obama facing a camera. “Way to go, Miles! Way to save Gotham!”

Everybody had hoped young Miles would say a few words, but fighting crime is hard -- he was too tired. Instead his father and mother thanked the crowd profusely, saying their son was a fighter. “He fought cancer and he beat cancer.”

But it was Police Chief Suhr who said it best: “This is off-the-hook San Francisco!”

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee presents a key to the city to five-year-old Miles Scott after he and Batman caught The Riddler and The Penguin after San Francisco briefly became Gotham City on Friday in a Make-A-Wish delight.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee presents a key to the city to five-year-old Miles Scott after he and Batman caught The Riddler and The Penguin after San Francisco briefly became Gotham City on Friday in a Make-A-Wish delight.
- Photo2 by Make A Wish, Bay Area

Petty County Tyrants - And Response (2)

Last week's County Commission meeting was quite a show. Ironically, the preacher giving the opening invocation asked that "truth may prevail" because that is the opposite of what happened. What we actually saw was bickering, verbal attacks, and a collapse of democratic discourse. It is typically not my approach to "attack" individuals, but as each commissioner made public statements, ... (click for more)

Enforce The Bond Forfeiture In Padgett Case

Now that Christopher Padgett  was taken into custody by the Chattanooga Police Department and checked back into the Hamilton County jail, I trust the judge will do no favors and enforce the forfeiture of Padgett's entire $350,000 bond. Padgett was accused of murder, he was granted $350,000 bond and he ran. Padgett was found guilty. A convicted murderer was ... (click for more)

2 Witnesses To A Murder Refuse To Testify At Jury Trial

Two men who prosecutors say witnessed a murder in Hixson on Jan. 31, 2014, on Wednesday refused to tell their story to a jury. Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman ordered Andrew Biro and Jacob Tyler "T.Y." Keel to answer questions from prosecutor Lance Pope, but they both refused. Biro had said during testimony in General Sessions Court that Christopher Levi Parker threatened ... (click for more)

PETA And Humane Educational Society Offer Reward For Torture-Killing Of Dog After Envelope Mailed From Chattanooga

An envelope postmarked from Chattanooga and containing a photo of a dog strung between two trees arrived at PETA's office in Virginia Tuesday, along with the severed ear of a dog. PETA members are offering a reward of $5,000-and the Humane Educational Society of Chattanooga has added another $1,000-for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible ... (click for more)

CCS Wins, Notre Dame Falls in A-AA State Soccer Tourney

MURFREESBORO -- Chattanooga Christian sophomore Addie Henry celebrated her 16th birthday in style here Wednesday night with a goal and an assist to help CCS defeat Madison Academic Magnet (Jackson, Tenn. – 16-5-3), 3-0, in a A-AA state quarterfinal match played at the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex. Teammates Kyra Duble and Olivia Hoffman also scored goals, while Taylor Price ... (click for more)

Randy Smith: Mocs Hoops Looking For Huge Season

In the midst of what is an exciting college football season, I thought we might talk some college hoops as the Chattanooga Mocs are gearing up for what could be an amazing 2016-2017 season. Coach Matt McCall returns practically every starter from last year's squad that won the SoCon regular season and tournament titles as well as a school record 29 wins. The Mocs scored wins at ... (click for more)