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.
‘Batkid’ was called into service by Police Chief Greg Suhr and spent the day zooming from one “crime scene” to the next. Accompanied by an adult Batman impersonator, Batkid rescued a damsel in distress from cable car tracks, captured the Riddler as he robbed a bank, and saved the San Francisco Giants mascot — Lou Seal — from the Penguin’s clutches.
Miles was able to fulfill his wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the city and volunteers who stepped forward to help. He was diagnosed three years ago, underwent chemotherapy treatment and is now in remission.
Batkid had a police escort worthy of a dignitary as he sped around the city in a black Lamborghini, with officers blocking traffic and riding alongside him on motorcycles. The White House sent out a tweet encouraging Batkid to “Go get ‘em!” In a video recording, President Barack Obama said, “Way to go, Miles! Way to save Gotham!”
The crowds grew after each stop, reaching into the thousands by the time Miles got to Union Square for lunch at a Burger joint. Spectators climbed trees and clambered up lampposts, and police and organisers struggled to keep a path open for the motorcade.
At Batkid’s stop in the city’s Russian Hill neighborhood, a woman sat on the cable car tracks in a dress and thigh-high black boots. She had a handkerchief around her mouth, and her hands were bound behind her back. Batman and Batkid sprang into action, with the aid of a trampoline, as the crowd roared. They rescued the woman and disabled a plastic replica bomb she was tied to.
The 5-year-old at first seemed overwhelmed by the outpouring, quietly working through each scenario with clenched fists and tight lips amid chants of “bat kid, bat kid”. But by the time he reached City Hall to receive a key to the city in front of the biggest crowd of the day, Miles was all smiles and bravado.
Though he didn’t address the crowd, he raised his fist twice and wore a grin as he was feted with chocolate, an FBI “raid jacket”