Be warned, superhero wannabes: Squeezing into a pair of tights and grabbing the nearest cape before going out to fight for justice will more likely get you incarcerated than applauded these days. Plus, as a few of the bolder entries on this list found out the hard way, suiting up certainly won’t get you off the hook for breaking and entering, drug possession, or driving while intoxicated.
1. Spider-Man Scales The Sears Tower
Donning a custom-made Spider-Man costume and packing an assortment of suction cups and rock-climbing equipment, Dan Goodwin set out to ascend the 110-story Chicago skyscraper (now known as the Willis Tower) on May 25, 1981. Seven hours later, he succeeded … only to be immediately booked for trespassing, and interrogated by the city’s Fire Commissioner.
2. Batman Arrested For Obstructing A Crime Scene
Mark Williams thought he’d help a local police investigation by imitating the dark knight himself last October. Instead, the 31-year-old Michigan resident found himself incarcerated for hindering a police investigation. Adding insult to injury, his costume was confiscated in the process.
3. Batman Arrested For Stealing Power Tools
Inhibiting law enforcement is bad enough, but some Batman fans have even been taken downtown for petty theft. Case in point: one Stan Worby of Bradford, England. Worby had previously made headlines for dragging a wanted criminal into his local police station. Just over a month later, he was accused of burgling $1200 worth of power tools from a nearby garage and arrested accordingly. After he pled not guilty, he was released on bail.
4. Captain America And The Badly-Placed Burrito
At a costume party at a bar in Melbourne, Florida, Dr. Raymond Adamcik arrived clad in a Captain America muscle suit … complete with a burrito wedged below the belt. After he made a series of lewd suggestions pertaining thereto, the police were called to intervene. That he was caught trying to dispose of a joint at the time didn’t help his case.
5. Banana Boy’s Slippery Situation
Actor Chris Phelps and company found themselves in trouble with the law when a choreographed street fight they’d been filming that starred Phelps’ cowardly “Banana Boy” character and a masked bandit looked a little too real for local authorities.
Not even the Man of Steel has a clean track record. A suspicious character sporting a Superman costume and waving at passing traffic in Wasilla, Alaska was questioned by a state trooper who discovered “an undisclosed amount of heroin” on his person.
7. Phoenix Jones Lands In The Big House
By day, he’s Benjamin Fodor. By night, he’s Phoenix Jones, a masked crime-fighter roaming the streets of Seattle. And in 2011, his decision to use pepper spray to break up a street fight landed him in the slammer for assault, as the following clip explains.
After spending seven hours behind bars, Jones made bail and his case was eventually dropped. “I’m just like everybody else,” Fodor says. “The only difference is I decided to stop crime in my neighborhood.”
8. Scottish Batman Slapped With DUI With Drunk Superman Riding Shotgun
Anstruther is ordinarily a quiet little town in the Scottish lowlands. But on August 15, 2006, police arrested a driver and his passenger—adorned in Batman and Superman gear, respectively—after both failed a mandatory breathalyzer test. In the words of an anonymous spokesman, “This is a real fall from grace for two superheroes. I am sure [drunk] driving is not allowed in Gotham City.”