During his patrol of Columbia, he donned under armor, carried two plastic sticks and wore a utility belt. On the belt, he stowed a screw driver, wrenches and a cell phone to quickly call police if he stumbled across crime. Officers also found ninja throwing stars inside his car parked near the Bicycle Shop, according to a police report.
Columbia Police Lt. Michelle Jones said the department does not need the assistance of a superhero to keep the city’s streets safe. She discouraged the public from patrolling the streets while dressed in costumes.
Police determined Hardee was not breaking any laws, other than a city ordinance that prohibits wearing a mask that obscures the face in public. He was advised of the ordinance and was not cited.
Jones said detectives interviewed Hardee and encouraged him to stop his patrols. Investigators are worried he could frighten the public or hurt himself or others.
Hardee said he will continue to look for crime but without the full costume. To date, he has not stumbled upon criminal activity.
The 20-year-old studies chemistry and art at Union University in Jackson. He hopes to land a job with his chemistry degree, make some money and then embark upon a career as a comic-book artist once he is financially secure.
“I am not out of touch with reality. ... I am just a normal guy,” he said. “I know what happens in the movies doesn’t happen in real life.”
He also wants everyone to know he is not trying to inspire children to follow in his footsteps, and he did not don the costume in search of publicity.
“If I wanted attention, I would go streaking or something,” Hardee said.