'Batkid' fighting crime in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Dressed in a black Batman costume, his fists clenched as he took on foe after foe around San Francisco, a 5-year-old boy who has battled leukemia for years fulfilled his wish Friday to be his favorite superhero.
In the process, Miles Scott became a darling of social media and attracted thousands of fans around the country, including the White House.
"When you have an illness, it's very important to know you have a support system," said Gina Futrell, 51, who was among a large crowd gathered at Union Square for a chance to see the Batkid during his day of capers. Futrell has multiple sclerosis. "I have an extremely strong support system, and I hope he does too. He's such a little hero."
Batkid was called into service by San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr to help fight crime. He rescued a woman from cable car tracks in Nob Hill and captured the Riddler in the act of robbing a downtown bank. He even rescued the San Francisco Giants mascot — Lou Seal — who was kidnapped by the Penguin.
Miles, who is now in remission, was able to fulfill his wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the city.
Batkid had a police escort worthy of a dignitary, as he sped around the city in a black Lamborghini with a Batman decal while officers blocked traffic and rode along with him on motorcycles. The White House sent out a Tweet encouraging Batkid to "Go get 'em!"
The crowds grew after each stop, reaching into the thousands by the time he got to Union Square for lunch at the Burger Bar atop Macy's. Spectators climbed trees and clambered up lampposts, and police and organizers struggled to keep a path open for the motorcade, which sped past onlookers lining the streets six deep for several blocks.
The 5-year-old at times seemed overwhelmed by the outpouring, quietly working through each scenario with clenched fists and tight lips amid delirious chants of "bat kid, bat kid."
"How amazing is this kid," said Lisa Aguirre, 31, who also awaited Miles in Union Square. "He picked my favorite superhero — Batman. I came down to show my support."