“Suspicious Man at Portland School Turns Out to be Superhero” — Best Headline Ever?

Here’s a bit of what happened (which is not all that fascinating), as explained by reporter Liz Duffy:

Around 8:30 Monday morning, Portland police responded to a call about a man dressed in a trench coat who walked into Grant High School with a “police-style baton.”

Two squad cars and a conversation with a site supervisor later, police found that the man, in fact, was a staff member of a superhero-themed summer camp with Trackers Earth and the baton he was wielding was foam.

Read the rest here. And remember, hard as it is to believe: Sometimes a man near a school is just a man near a school.

Forgive us fear-riddled humans, Spiderman!

Forgive us fear-riddled humans, Spiderman!

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17 Responses to “Suspicious Man at Portland School Turns Out to be Superhero” — Best Headline Ever?

  1. hancock July 23, 2014 at 7:44 am #

    News Flash:
    People were walking by places, or standing outside places, dressed in clothes, and carrying objects. Some of them were men. Police were called to investigate. No arrests were made, but a warning was sent out to the community warning people to stop appearing in public.

  2. lollipoplover July 23, 2014 at 8:32 am #

    This busybody who called police is an idiot!
    The summer camps at this school were for “Shadow Ninja”, “Evil Secret Agent Academy”, and “Zombie Survival”. They now will live in fear of going into the garden and having ninjas and zombies come after them. All for calling the cops on their camp. I bet they don’t call the cops for cheerleader camps.

    And don’t forget EVIL secret agents. Yikes. Don’t mess with them. But I don’t think they carry foam weapons…

  3. Vicki Bradley July 23, 2014 at 8:47 am #

    I think the type of people who have 911 on speed dial the minute they see something “suspicious” have “superhero complex”. They think they’re swooping in to save the day, when in fact they’re costing us taxpayers money by wasting the police officers’ time, and unnecessarily instilling fear in children. If they’re *so* concerned, did it ever occur to these people to actually talk to the person, instead of anonymously calling the police and driving away (I assume). They must feel such a sense of superiority.

  4. FreedomForKids July 23, 2014 at 8:56 am #

    In my local movie theater they now have a message before the movie starts to “report suspicious characters”. I find this very depressing.

  5. BL July 23, 2014 at 9:05 am #

    Holy false alarm, Batman!

  6. Donna July 23, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    Sounds like a fun camp.

    “I think the type of people who have 911 on speed dial the minute they see something “suspicious” have “superhero complex”. They think they’re swooping in to save the day”

    I agree totally.

  7. Dhewco July 23, 2014 at 11:38 am #

    I kinda disagree. It’s not ‘superhero’ as much as it is hoping for fame. “What if I’m the one whose call saves that boy/girl? Who’ll play me in the movie? Will I be on the local/national news? If there’s a book, will I get a share? Can I write the book?”

    I can’t be sure that’s what everyone that calls in is thinking, but I am sure that a large portion of them think about it that way.

  8. MichaelF July 23, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

    It’s like that story in the comments previously about neighborliness, since no one is interested in talking to new people around the neighborhood you don’t know what’s going on. Instead of checking it out, worst-first thinking is the norm. So what else to do in an upcoming emergency? Call the cops.

    Funny how it all converges.

  9. SusanOR July 23, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

    Hey! My neighborhood! My kid will be at that camp next month! In all fairness, this is the first summer that Trackers is operating out of Grant HS, so I will cut someone a little slack. But I very much agree that calling the cops shouldn’t be our first go-to option.

  10. Jenna July 23, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

    I love Trackers! Here’s their description – it will give you a sense why:
    “We help children to feel like that group of kids wandering country backyards 50 years ago: independent, tired, muddy, wet and happy from the woods and wild. We are acutely aware of full and real hazards of the out of doors after years of working in environmental education. We try to move away from the highly structured and limiting tolerances of conventional environmental education while keeping kids truly safe but not encapsulated from, or phobic of nature. We are deep patriots to the value of offering guided yet very free and transparent experiences for kids. We believe it is okay to be thirsty at times, cold at times, and wet at times. It builds empathy and care for the gifts of life. It fosters adventure and sincere accomplishment. We also believe it is critical to feel supported and cared for as they truly explore their passion and responsibility. And through a healthy life immersed in nature, they test the limits and great potential of the often untapped physical and emotional resiliency they possess.”

  11. Joyanna July 23, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

    My son did the “Survival Games” camp last week with Trackers at Grant HS. Maybe this story (and its promotion on Free Range Kids) will give Trackers some more free-range campers. They are truly a free-range organization, and my son came back more brave and independent after only one week of one of their camps, where he learned to light a fire in five minutes, use a woodcarving knife, and practice stealth activities. These camps are fantastic!

    The school clearly has a sign outside stating that Trackers Camps are going on. Someone could have just “alerted” the camp staff if they thought there was a problem. People are too fearful (or too lazy?) to do something actually useful. Good for Trackers Earth for laughing the whole thing off!

  12. oncefallendotcom July 23, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

    When you think about it, many “superheroes” are actually rather dangerous vigilantes, Batman and the Punisher immediately coming to mind.

    Technically not a superhero, but remember the Terminator? You’d think they’d make Terminators that didn’t always look like a certain ex-governor from California or something.

  13. J.T. Wenting July 24, 2014 at 1:24 am #

    “Technically not a superhero, but remember the Terminator? You’d think they’d make Terminators that didn’t always look like a certain ex-governor from California or something.”

    Don’t forget that the original Terminator was a supervillain starred by a rather unknown actor with a funny foreign accent (which is a main reason he got the role).
    That somewhat backfired, the actor became massively popular, so they had to make a followup movie where he was now the hero :)
    A hero who destroys entire city blocks, doesn’t mind how many people die while he pursues his single minded obsession to save the damsel from the villain cyborg.

  14. Erika July 24, 2014 at 10:57 am #

    I just love how many Trackers parents showed up here. I first heard about it via this movie: http://playagainfilm.com/. I wish they had this camp in my state–my kid would love it.

  15. Mark Roulo July 24, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    “You’d think they’d make Terminators that didn’t always look like a certain ex-governor from California or something.”

    “They” did. Terminator Cameron (played by Summer Glau) does not look like a certain ex-governor from California.

  16. ifsogirl July 25, 2014 at 2:53 am #

    I wish we had something like Trackers in my area. I’m trying to foster independence in my kids by making them responsible for making their own breakfasts and lunches. But I was raised by a micro manager and it’s a really hard habit to break, I keep trying though.

  17. SOA July 25, 2014 at 8:05 am #

    I am glad it turned out well. I don’t blame the school for checking into the guy and finding out who he was. Don’t know if the police needed to be called but it makes sense to question him and find out what he is there for.