A man attempting to shoplift DVDs from a Walmart in Texas was stopped by an off-duty police officer dressed as Batman.
In his spare time, Fort Worth Police Officer Damon Cole dresses up as superheroes and pays visits to children who are battling life-threatening illnesses around the country.
"I do that to give them inspiration and hope to keep fighting," he said, according to KDFW.
On June 17, Cole donned his Batman costume for a kids' safety fair hosted by Walmart. He said he arrived to the store as the shoplifter was walking out with the stolen items.
"I showed up dressed as Batman and the alarm went off," he told the Houston Chronicle. "A door greeter tried to stop a gentleman but he exited without talking."
Cole followed the man outside and confronted him at his vehicle, identifying himself as a cop.
"Batman says, 'I want you to know I have this Batman costume on but I'm an off-duty police officer,'" witness Anthony Drake told KDFW.
While the man initially denied any wrongdoing, he eventually confessed to having stolen four DVDs. As if the scene weren't ironic enough, one of the DVDs was a copy of "The Lego Batman Movie."
"I told him, 'Man, you can't steal my movie,'" Cole said.
Since the stolen merchandise added up to less than $100, the unidentified shoplifter received a written citation. Afterward, he asked Cole if he could take a picture with him. Cole said he could, but only if he promised never to shoplift again.
Cole later posted images of the incident to Twitter.
"In my 17 years as a police officer this was the first time I have ever made an arrest as Batman," he tweeted, according to WPXI. "I swear I can't make this stuff up."
Cole, who runs a nonprofit company called Heroes and Cops Against Childhood Cancer, has been doing his superhero routine for four years. While his primary goal is to comfort and inspire sick children, he said it has the added benefit of showing kids that they don’t have to fear police officers.
"I have a Batman cape in my back window," he told the Houston Chronicle. "I have an Iron Man mask and a Spider-Man mask in my back windows. Kids love superheroes. I tell kids that with great power comes great responsibility."
"I tell kids that police officers are no different than anyone else," he added.