The “Baltimore Batman,” famously known for being pulled over in his Lamborghini while dressed as the Dark Knight, was killed last night in a road-side collision.
Lenny Robinson, 51, died on the side of I-70 near Hagerstown, Maryland, last night after experiencing engine problems with his custom-made Batmobile, reports the Washington Post. The Maryland resident pulled over to the side of the freeway to examine his vehicle’s engine when a Toyota Camry slammed into it, which in turn fatally hit Robinson.
According to the police news release, Robinson’s vehicle was “partially in the fast lane” when it was hit. Robinson was pronounced dead on the scene.
Robinson began dressing up as Batman in 2001 when he first started visiting children at hospitals. His efforts went viral in 2012 after police cameras recorded his traffic stop by the Montgomery County police for having an illegal Batman symbol license plate on his Lamborghini.
However, when the police told Robinson, clad entirely in the Batman costume, to step out of his vehicle, they quickly forgot about his illegal plates and became invested in scoring a picture with the Dark Knight.
Robinson spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on his costume and Batmobile, and some have contended that his costumes were even more authentic than the ones in the movies.
Robinson originally began his Batman career because his son Brandon loved Batman as a child. “I used to call him Batman. His obsession became my obsession,” Robinson said in a 2012 Washington Post profile.
Since then, he had made it his life’s mission to make children happy by dressing up as the revered vigilante. Hospitals would call Robinson to request that he make an appearance in his costume. While he couldn’t make them all, he showed up to as many as he could and sometimes brought his son, who would dress up as Robin.
Robinson was specifically involved with a program called Hope for Henry, a D.C. organization helping sick children. The group was known for throwing superhero parties in hospitals, and Robinson was always the star. Laurie Strongin, who founded the program, said:
“He made so many kids so happy. When I asked him to do anything, he always said, ‘yes.’ ”
Robinson’s family gathered this morning at Owings Mills, Maryland, to remember him. His younger brother Scott Robinson said:
“He touched a lot of lives and made a lot of kids smile. That’s all he wanted to do.”