What is the Insidious Conspiracy Against THE PETOSKEY BATMAN?

Police in Petoskey, Michigan, in a blatant contravention of more than 60 years of comic book logic, have arrested the World’s Greatest Detective, Batman, for interfering with a police investigation.

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

“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.

“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.

That excuse sounds bogus to me. There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that police dogs are highly unreliable investigators.

It’s not that dogs don’t have a much better sense of smell than humans do—they clearly do.  They are unreliable, however, because dogs have a strong desire to please their handlers.  Thus, it can be difficult to tell whether the dog is reacting to the presence of drugs or is reacting to subtle clues sent by the police officer who is handling the dog.  An increasing array of research suggests that dogs can be easily misled into “finding” drugs when they don’t exist.  A more recent study published in the journal, Animal Cognition, showed error rates on up to 85%. Interestingly, the dogs were most likely to be wrong about finding drugs when their handler suspected that a given location had drugs.

My suspicion, based solely on the photo below, is that Petoskey police simply didn’t want to be shown up by a more competent investigator, and had the Batman “eliminated.”

Ready to spring into action!

Or, maybe the police just aren’t that into cosplay. Anyway, as it turns out, they have a vendetta against Batman– they also arrested him last year:

Williams also was arrested last year after police received a report of a man dressed as Batman on the roof of a local business. He was sentenced to six months of probation, during which he was forbidden to wear costumes.

Clearly, this is all part of a disturbing trend of police targeting the Batman. What I don’t think they understand is that The Dark Knight was only a movie, and it’s Harvey Dent that they should have been worried about. Not Batman. He’s only trying to help.