6 on 1 Odds – Patrol Summary for Oct. 21-22

Last night Divine Force and I saw a big fight break out between approxiimately 12 individuals, at first we tried to break up and deescalate the situation, telling people to calm down and such. But no one listened, one guy tried to grab a metal street sight to use as a bludgeoning device, luckily it was chained to the ground and didn’t go very far. At one point there was a group of 4 or 5 guys fighting, as I tried to break that up, someone off to the side took a wild swing and got me in the side of the face, that knocked me back and I spun around, bewildered. After that things were a little blurry, not literally I just have a hard time remembering specific details. I remember someone punching me in the back of the head after that. Saw some guy kicking another guy on the street, so I hit him with my stun gun in the back and he backed off, then his buddy tried to kick me (poorly) and it deflected off my armor. His buddy was like, he has body armor dude, then I got punched in the back of the head again. I think when I got punched the second time divine force grabbed that guy and pulled him away from me (may have even been the guy who punched me the first time, I never actually saw anyone hit me). That guy then pushed him.
Cops showed up right after that, they asked why I was using my tazer, I explained to them many of the details mentioned above, they warned me if someone got it away from me it could be used against me. Yes, this is true of most weapons. Maybe I would have been better off using pepper spray instead, who knows.
So the cops arrested a coupla guys, and some more got away. We left and continued on our patrol, met up with mr. Xtreme, patrolled the same area as before and saw someone being chased across the street, so we ran over to see the guy being chased on the ground being hit by a guy about twice my size, I put my stun gun to his back for a coupla seconds and he backed off. I told him and his buddies to leave him alone and that he was really hurt. I instructed divine force to help him up. Mr. Xtreme helped him. They were claiming this man hit them, so they chased him down, knocked him to the ground and beat them. I told them I don’t know that, that I saw a guy being chased and beaten, he looked like the victim. Eventually they went away, and we called the ambulance, but they never showed. His friend showed up and they limped away, but he was showing signs of severe trauama. He was not coherent and couldn’t walk on his own.
so while I did the best I could, it could have been done better. I need new batteries for my stun gun, and I’m thinking of switching back to a helmet, since everyone seemed to want to avoid my armor. I guess they didn’t want to hurt their hands on it or something. I’m just glad I didn’t lose any teeth, someone else did.

Superheroes Directed by Michael Barnett

Originally posted: http://exclaim.ca/Reviews/HotDocs/superheroes-directed_by_michael_barnett
vigilantespiderBy Will Sloan
Mr. Xtreme lives in a small apartment, with his costume and weaponry buried under stacks of papers and magazines, where he watches Power Rangers on a 12-inch TV during his off-hours. He calls it his “Xtreme Cave,” and he doesn’t seem to be joking. He’s a working slug by day, but by night he roams/”protects” the streets of San Diego, CA, where the police regard him with a mix of bemusement and gentle concern.
He’s a little too overweight to be terribly intimidating in his costume, but lest you think he doesn’t take his responsibilities seriously, remember that he’s the president of the Xtreme Justice League, a community for like-minded crime fighters. He’s also the only member, but he does sometimes work with another San Diego superhero, “The Vigilante Spider.” Not to be confused with a certain other arachnid-themed superhero.
How does Michael Barnett, the director of Superheroes, expect us to regard this man? Mr. Xtreme is one of many real-life superheroes profiled in this very odd documentary, and he comes across as the saddest in a very sad group. Barnett seems to agree: why else would he show Mr. Xtreme losing a grappling tournament and interviews with his comically unsympathetic parents?
Barnett regards most of the other superheroes with similar ironic detachment: when the Vigilante Spider describes a hypothetical situation in which he kisses his girlfriend goodbye in the morning to go to work, Barnett pointedly asks if the Vigilante has a girlfriend (the answer may not surprise you); and Barnett’s camera stares blankly at “Master Legend” as he clumsily attempts to pick up a girl at a bar. The idea of a documentary about real-life superheroes is pretty irresistible, but what are we supposed to take away from this one except that sad, lonely people are sad and lonely?
Some of the superheroes are more like charity workers, distributing food and necessities to the homeless while wearing their costumes. Others, like a group that incite and then arrest attackers by having one of the members dress as flamboyantly gay, regard themselves in the Batman/Superman tradition (a police staffer interviewed points out that this group’s method borders dangerously close to entrapment).
When Barnett attempts to shift gears in the second half to a more sentimental tone, rhapsodizing the heroes as naïve but good-hearted folks who want to make the world a better place, it feels even more hollow and condescending than before. Superheroes is a one sad movie, and not often in a good way.
(Theodore James Productions)

You Can Be a Real-Life Superhero

Originally posted: http://www.tesh.com/ittrium/visit/A1x97x1y1xa5x1x76y1x2455x1x9by1x245ax1y5x1bf69x5x1
By John Tesh
Who’s slower than a speeding bullet, less powerful than a locomotive, unable to leap tall buildings in a single bound, yet still doing whatever they can to save the world? According to CNN, a growing number of regular citizens are volunteering their time these days to become real-life superheroes. Some dress up in elaborate costumes, while others work anonymously. Some have fancy names – like Mr. Xtreme, Civitron or the Dark Guardian! Most real-life superheroes go by less colorful names – like Direction Man, Camera Man, and The Cleanser. While none of these people have any real super powers, they’re all finding small ways to help make their community better.
For example: Direction Man walks around the streets of New York, offering help to complete strangers who look lost. Meanwhile, The Cleanser scours city sidewalks and parks, picking up trash. Others use their superhero alter egos to help raise money for the homeless, to feed needy children, or to hand out fliers in high-crime neighborhoods. This new superhero movement began several years ago, when a handful of comic book fans bonded with each other on MySpace. Today, there are nearly 300 real-life superheroes working around the world, and the worse the economy gets, the more people want to help.
That’s the word from Ben Goldman, a self-proclaimed “superhero historian” who keeps track of all these crusaders through his website: SuperheroesAnonymous.com. He says there’s been a growing interest in becoming a real-life superhero during the economic downturn, as people start to put more value in what they can do for others, rather than in how many possessions they have. That’s very good news to Stan Lee. He’s the comic book legend who created many fictional superheroes – like Spider-Man and the X-Men. Lee says the urge to do good deeds has always been the #1 calling card for superheroes. So when all is said and done, you don’t need to fly through the air, bend steel, or have x-ray vision to make a difference. Anyone who volunteers their time to help others in their own unique way deserves to be called a super-hero.

Superhero makes San Diego a better place

By Kari Luu, Staff Writer
To some, he’s just a man skulking through the night for an overdue Halloween party; but to others, he’s a symbol, a crusader and a giver. His identity is a secret. His weaknesses are on par with any other man, but he gets his kicks from doing good and his adrenaline rush comes from sweet justice. He’s just your neighborhood friendly superhero: Mr. Xtreme.
Donning a lucha libre mask and armed with a utility belt stuffed with a tactical flashlight, pepper spray, handcuffs, first-aid kit and a stun-gun, Mr. Xtreme is a homemade superhero who patrols San Diego areas by night in an effort to prevent crime. He sifts through various San Diego areas such as downtown, City Heights, Pacific and Mission beaches and more. On patrols, he occasionally hands out food and drink to homeless people and sometimes works with a superhero from another town.
Mr. Xtreme is one of the more active and visible members of the local Real Life Superheroes Organization, which is an international online community of nearly 300 comic book fans that stays connected through Web sites such as worldsuperheroregistry.com. These heroes spend their free time fighting crime and doing good deeds for society behind the anonymity of a mask and cape.
By day, Mr. Xtreme works as a security guard. As a native San Diegan, he was a witness to the city’s wave of crime in the early ‘90s. He grew infuriated by the public’s apathy and began his mission three years ago to deter crime in this town and promote safety awareness.
Mr. Xtreme’s primary method of crime prevention is acting as a visual deterrent — raising awareness by being highly visible and intervening in situations when a victim is involved. However, he is often invigorated by the gawks and stares he receives because of his outrageous attire.
“We’re not here to take law into our hands,” he said. “We’re not vigilantes. And we’re not here to harass people or violate their civil rights. Our role out there is a neighborhood watch: Deter crime and make sure it doesn’t happen in the first place or raise awareness: So I don’t mind if people get on their cell phones or call the police or try to shake me down.”
Mr. Xtreme cares more about the message he sends to society rather than what people think of him.
“At least I’m getting people to see what I’m doing and hopefully that will get them into the habit of calling the police when there are problems and suspicious activities,” Mr. Xtreme said.
As a young man, Mr. Xtreme himself fell victim to various crimes such as physical abuse, bullying and was even held at gunpoint by a gang. From his experiences, Mr. Xtreme was inspired to become the neighborhood superhero.
“I take the violent victimization of innocent people very personally,” he said. “Even if I don’t know the victims I feel that I can relate to them.”
Although this is not something he can put on his resume, Mr. Xtreme is just in the business to do good. He uses his own money for most of the charity work he does, such as printing flyers when a violent rapist was loose in San Diego. He also distributes food to the homeless and even offered $1,500 of his own money to whoever caught the sexual assault suspect last year. He’s no sellout either. He was offered to be on a reality show, which he turned down.
“I’m trying to give back to the community and do something positive,” Mr. Xtreme said. “All this apathy just kind of bewilders me and makes me kind of lose faith in humanity sometimes because nobody cares. ‘Another victim, another statistic’ and all we hear is, it’s time for a wakeup call and I’m tired of hearing of wakeup calls and instead of getting on with our lives we need to devote and dedicate our lives to take a stand.”
Despite how some may scoff at Mr. Xtreme’s lack of experience and odd ways of applying his justice, he has been training for the last year by learning various martial arts such as jiu-jitsu and judo. He has also taken classes in defensive tactics, handcuffing, first aid, batons and citizen arrest procedures.
“I’ve worked in the security field for several years and worked in a field that’s closely related to what I do here as Mr. Xtreme,” he said. “So I do have some experience in making citizen arrest, dealing with hostile aggressive people and dealing with the police.”
Mr. Xtreme said he hopes to recruit more superheroes in the near future and patrol the College Area.
“When I go out and do this it feels really rewarding,” Mr. Xtreme said. “I’m not bound by society’s rules, I don’t have to be a kissass and I’m trying to do something positive and give back to the community in a time when not too many people care.”
For more information on Mr. Xtreme, visit www.reallifesuperheroes.org.

San Diego superhero fights crime his own way

It is a typical Sunday; launching a public awareness campaign to bring a home-invasion rapist to justice.
Well, maybe not a typical Sunday – at least, not for the average citizen. San Diego’s resident superhero Mr. Xtreme – as the missing vowel suggests – is far from average.
Think Superman, Spider-Man, Batman, or Mighty Morphin Power Rangers – just less … super. No high-flying, no web-slinging, no expensive gadgetry, no dino-morphing; essentially, none of the frills that make a superhero super.
That isn’t to say Mr. Xtreme isn’t super – or a hero. Quite the opposite, in fact. It takes an out-of-the-ordinary person to sacrifice his Sunday to hand out flyers warning women about a sexual assault suspect who has been on the loose since June 2008. And it takes an extraordinary person to offer an out-of-pocket $1,500 reward for information leading to the “evildoer’s” capture.
He must be brought to justice, Mr. Xtreme says, and he’s just doing his part to help.
The 30-something superhero has read news releases about a drop in crime in the county. He has no reason to believe crime is on the rise, but, he says, “Try to tell a victim’s family there’s been a drop in crime – they’ll tell you to get lost.”
“Victims of violent crimes shouldn’t be treated as a statistic,” says Mr. Xtreme, who asked we keep his identity a secret.
Sure, he talks a big game, but Mr. Xtreme has no illusions of grandeur; he isn’t secretly developing an Xtreme-mobile, or jumping from building to building in the East Village after dark.
It’s a pretty simple operation, to tell you the truth. He patrols neighborhoods in his costume – black cargo pants, a green “Xtreme Justice League” shirt, black boots and a camouflage lucha libre mask – and he wears a utility belt, equipped with a stun gun, 2.5 ounces of pepper spray, and a flashlight.
The Xtreme Justice League, the organization his shirt refers to, is a small, loose network of superheroes Mr. Xtreme works with to coordinate patrols and fight crime. Locally, he doesn’t have much help. He’s the most active, visible member of the local Real Life Superhero (RLS) community, which stays connected through sites like WorldSuperheroRegistry.com.
Mr. Xtreme’s primary goal is to be a visual deterrent to crime; a would-be evildoer, for example, might see the masked man patrolling, and rethink his malevolent misdeeds.
But, Mr. Xtreme said, if push comes to shove, he isn’t afraid to intervene in gang violence, a carjacking or a sexual assault.
“If someone’s safety is at stake, if a victim’s life is at stake, I’ll step in no matter how dangerous the situation and risk getting injured, or even risk losing my life to save the day,” he deadpans.
OK. Hmmm. That may be a little beyond the call of duty. But, it’s all in a day’s work, the superhero says.
Every now and then, Mr. Xtreme delivers a line or uses a phrase that borders on melodramatics. And, in part, that’s the purpose. He enjoys the theatrics.
He’s a building security manager by day. So, I ask him: Why not work with a community patrol group that collaborates with the police department? Instead, he operates independently, a pariah at public forums (he’s often asked to leave) and a nuisance to the cops. Sure, with an organized community patrol, he’d have more status in neighborhoods. But, he’d be missing the theatrics – missing the fun.
“I grew up in a household of abuse, I was bullied in school, and I see all the apathy and indifference in society,” he says. “It really strikes a nerve with me. I looked up to superheroes when I was a child; they were role models. And they’re still role models today.”
“I have so much respect for what community patrols do, but I want to be out and interact with the community,” he says. “I couldn’t do that from a car. And being a real-life superhero is really a symbol to illustrate my commitment to an ideal, and it can inspire people … I want to send a message to youth. You can live an ‘extreme’ lifestyle and you don’t have to be a killer or a gang member or a thug or a waste of human life or a parasite.”
So, for the time being, Mr. Xtreme doesn’t mind being an outsider – just don’t call him a vigilante.
“I don’t condone vigilante behavior; I condemn it,” he says. “It’s an insult when someone calls me a vigilante. A vigilante wouldn’t try to go to community meetings to interact with the public. A vigilante wouldn’t try to work with police.”
The superhero hopes to build a working rapport with the police. It doesn’t seem likely, but he’s hopeful. He seems eternally optimistic; that he can build bridges in communities; that he can prevent crime; that he can make a difference in the world. He may not have a super-utility belt, or a super-power, but this superhero’s heart is in the right place.
The Sunday I tag along with Mr. Xtreme, we canvass shopping centers in Kearny Mesa, handing out “WANTED” flyers, with information about the sexual assault suspect. This case really irks him.

The home-made flyers are more eye-catching than your run of the mill posters. They say “WANTED” in bold, Sharpie’d letters. A sketch of the sexual assault suspect has the word evildoer written on it. The Xtreme Justice League logo is pasted at the top and a “no evil” logo is pasted near the bottom.
He approaches people in shopping centers to give them flyers. Surprisingly, very few dodge him. It may help he’s being followed by a reporter and a film crew, who is interested in making a documentary film about real-life superheroes.
By and large, the response to Mr. Xtreme’s effort is enthusiastic.
He greets one woman sweeping a sidewalk outside a big-box business.
“Hi ma’am, I’m with the Xtreme Justice League, and we’re looking for a rapist,” he says, handing her a flyer.
“For real? Him? Still?” the woman says. The suspect has been at large for a year.
“Yes ma’am,” he says.
“That son of a bitch. Well, I hope to God you find him. I warn my kids every day. If you have any other flyers, I’ll help put them up.”
Later, he meets another grateful citizen.
“You guys are doing good work,” the man says, taking a flyer from Mr. Xtreme. Mr. Xtreme thanks him and walks away. The man’s young daughter runs out of a nearby store to see what her dad is up to.
“Daddy, who are you talking … OH MY GOSH WHY IS THAT MAN …?” The little girl isn’t quite sure what to make of her father cavorting with Mr. Xtreme.
At a market down the road, our superhero greets a woman he’s met before in the restaurant she owns. She has his flyers posted there – but she has a question.
“Why do you have to have a mask on?” she asks.
“Well, it’s a part of my uniform,” he says. “I’m a superhero.”
“Oh …”
“Oh” seems to be the standard response, when Mr. Xtreme explains himself; it’s as if no one quite knows what to make of him, but aren’t comfortable prying, so they say, “Oh.”
For every passerby who seems a bit confused by the getup, there’s the driver who honks his horn, or waves. They might recognize him from television news spots, or the Union-Tribune story about him, or the cover of The San Diego Reader. He welcomes the media attention. After all, it makes his job crime fighting a little easier.
“Some superheroes think I do this for popularity,” he says. “That’s not the case. We’re trying to build community support to make our jobs easier.”
Despite the name recognition, it’s a lonely life, he says. “My social life is basically non-existent. That’s the sacrifice I choose to make so I can be able to do this. It can be difficult to get people to understand. I usually only speak in depth to folks who want to listen. If they’re going to come at me with a barrage of nonsense, I usually just walk away or ignore them. I just take things as they come and do my thing, and not care what people think if it’s negative. No time for negativity.”
Nope. No time for negativity for Mr. Xtreme. Saving the world, after all, is daunting task. Even for a superhero.
Joseph Peña is a contributing editor for San Diego News Network.
Read more: http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2009-05-29/lifestyle/local-superhero-fights-crime-his-own-way#ixzz0Vm4t6HOd

Homemade heroes offer low-level law enforcement

It was an unusually warm night for January, and the sidewalks of East Village bustled with activity – people walking to the corner store, the homeless squatting in front of their tents, rock ‘n’ roll types smoking outside a tattoo shop.

It was also the kind of night that might draw evildoers out of the shadows.

So, armed with a belt full of gadgets (stun gun, pepper spray, handcuffs), Mr. Xtreme did what any superhero would do. He patrolled the streets by the light of the full moon.

He doesn’t scale buildings like Spider-Man or emit beams from his eyes like the X-Men’s Cyclops. But like his comic book counterparts, Mr. Xtreme insists on keeping his identity secret, helped by a camouflage wrestling mask with bug-shaped mesh eyes.

Mr. Xtreme is a Real-Life Superhero, part of an international online community of about 300 comic book fans who spend their free time fighting crime and doing good deeds for mankind behind the anonymity of a mask and cape.

There’s Dark Guardian, who patrols the streets of New York City as part of the superfluously named Justice Society of Justice. He wears a black spandex body suit, black cape and hard-shell mask. And in Utah, Ghost puts the fright into bad guys with his skeleton mask, long white wig and black cape.

Other superheroes hail from Michigan, Florida, Mexico City, Italy and England. San Diego’s only other known superhero goes by the name MidKnight.

They are connected via several online networks, including the World Superhero Registry and MySpace, where they share tips on patrol tactics, costume design and dealing with the police.

“Police automatically label us vigilantes,” said Mr. Xtreme, a 30-something security guard who asked The San Diego Union-Tribune to keep his identity private. The newspaper agreed after conducting a background check on him.

“I say we’re more costumed activists. Vigilantes render punishment onto criminals. We don’t harass people, don’t violate their civil rights. First and foremost, we prevent crime. We do what we are allowed to do legally as citizens.”

Birth of a superhero

Mr. Xtreme, who was raised in San Diego, said a wave of violence in the early 1990s – and the public’s apparent apathy to it – left an impression on him.

“They just want to look the other way and pretend it doesn’t exist,” he said. “I felt I needed to do something.”

Then in 2006, he got to thinking: What if the world had real superheroes? What kind of place would it be?

He joined the online community soon after and created his first persona, The Nag. But the heavyset bachelor was looking for something catchier.

Deciding to combine his love of the comic book superhero team Justice League of America with his passion for the Xtreme Football League, he came up with the Xtreme Justice League.

His costume is still in development. Besides the mask, he wears black tactical pants, boots and a long-sleeved, camouflage shirt under a green Xtreme Justice League T-shirt. His belt bulges with pepper spray, handcuffs, two cell phones, a first aid kid, a Double Trouble stun gun and a long Mag flashlight.

He has designed a sweet new costume in his head for when he can get some money together. “I’m going to have a Kevlar tactical helmet, tactical goggles with custom lenses. Obviously I’m going to have a cape, body armor.”

In March, Mr. Xtreme and superhero associate Shadow Hare of Cincinnati spent an afternoon in Chula Vista handing out fliers about a sexual predator wanted by police. They advertised a reward of $1,000 of their own funds for information leading to an arrest.

Then the gang unit showed up and had a conversation with the masked men. Chula Vista police spokesman Bernard Gonzales said the officers were just doing their due diligence.

“Anyone who goes out and tries to assist law enforcement by handing out fliers and being proactive against the criminals is appreciated,” said Gonzales. “But when you start physically involving yourself in crime fighting, that’s vigilantism.”

‘Every little bit helps’

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin declared Oct. 13 the Day of the Superhero after about 250 superheroes converged on the city to meet and march, but that was a rare display of official recognition.

Most police officers are uncomfortable with anonymous, masked characters walking neighborhoods carrying weapons.

Mr. Xtreme has tried to attend community meetings at the police station in the Mid City Division, but police asked him to leave when he refused to take off his mask, said San Diego police spokeswoman Mónica Muñoz.

“It didn’t work out too well,” Mr. Xtreme admitted.

Police also are concerned that the superheroes are putting themselves at risk.

“What we’re looking for is for the community to be our eyes and ears. If you see a crime, report it. Be a good witness,” said San Diego police Capt. Chris Ball. But “you shouldn’t be carrying weapons and you shouldn’t be confronting people.”

Police have had similar doubts about other citizen patrol groups, such as the Guardian Angels, who seem to have developed an amicable partnership with authorities, and the Sentinels, a Los Angeles group that disbanded in the early 1990s after a member beat an accused drug dealer.

Mr. Xtreme countered the vigilante accusations by saying he has studied the law carefully when it comes to carrying legal self-protection and knows when it is and is not appropriate to make citizen arrests. He said he hasn’t made an arrest as a superhero but has exercised the right in the past.

He plans to reach out to San Diego police in hopes of finding his own Commissioner Gordon, Batman’s sympathetic confidant at the Gotham City Police Department.

Preventing crime, serving the less fortunate and empowering others to take action are at the core of his message.

“When drug dealers see us, they’ll go to the other corner. That carjacker, he’s going to take the night off,” he said.

During a patrol in the Gaslamp Quarter last Saturday night, he drew plenty of gasps, nudges and stares.

A few people stopped to ask what he was all about.

“At first thought, it’s kind of funny,” said Dushaun Fairley, a Chula Vista Realtor who questioned the costume from the patio of Nicky Rotten’s on Fifth Avenue. “But at the end of the day, every little bit helps.”

Staff researcher Michelle Gilchrist contributed to this report.

A long-ago superhero

Mr. Xtreme and MidKnight are not the only superheroes to make a go of protecting San Diegans.

In the 1970s and ’80s, a self-appointed crusader named Captain Sticky squeezed his 350 pounds into blue tights, a gold cape and glittery boots to fight for justice.

The former fiberglass contractor, also known as Richard Pesta, was credited with helping launch statewide investigations into nursing homes and campaigning against rental-car rip-offs and sugary cereal.

He eventually retired the persona but later grabbed headlines when he was investigated by San Diego police for letting his home be used to film an X-rated movie. He testified against the film’s producer in exchange for immunity. He also sold sex tours in Thailand, but the Thai government shut him down.

Sticky, whose name derived from his love of peanut butter and jelly, died in 2004 of complications from heart bypass surgery in Thailand.

Online: For more on Real-Life Superheroes, go to worldsuperheroregistry.com and freewebs.com/heroesnetwork