Readers! Something strange appears to be afoot in Gotham City. Superheroes, the primary-colored creatures who keep New York safe — or at least quirky and entertaining — are being arrested everywhere. Last week, two civilians in Superman and Batman costumes were wrestled to the ground and arrested in Times Square. And last night in Columbus Circle, a third superhero was brought down by law enforcement. Are they being targeted by law enforcement? And if so, why?
Reader Mike, who was riding his bike past Columbus Circle last night, witnessed the most recent brutal takedown. “I saw a guy in a Superman costume in the middle of the rotary and turned around,” he told Daily Intel. On the way back to 59th and Columbus, he noticed he passed “a beefy Latin guy” crouching behind a parked car, but “I didn’t think much of it” at the time. Why would he? It’s New York City. People do all kinds of crazy things.
Mike pulled his bike up and joined the sizable crowd that had gathered on the corner at 59th and Columbus, where Superman was performing an act that, at the moment, seemed to consist of taunting the policeman stationed on that corner: “He stuck his tongue out, waved his ass at the cop, and generally taunted him,” Mike tells us. The policeman didn’t respond, and eventually wandered away. Superman appeared to be delighted. “He thought he won the confrontation,” said Mike. But then! All of a sudden, three plainclothes cops, including the beefy Latin guy, burst out of nowhere and slammed into the tights-wearing trickster, knocking him to the ground and wrestling him into handcuffs. Superman screamed. The sound, Mike said, was “bloodcurdling.”
“Superman put up one hell of a fight,” he observed. Backup arrived, in the form of two other cops in uniform. “They stepped on his ankles, pulled his arms back, and told him to stop fighting,” Mike said. (A fellow bystander took video, which you can see here.) In the end, it took six cops to drag him off.
Officer Fisher at the Columbus Circle precinct tells us that it was actually the same guy who was arrested in Times Square, Maksim Katsnelson, of the Bronx. You can see him performing here, here, and here. He does a kind of ballet act, but he is mostly known for harassing cops and lecturing tourists about the First Amendment. “I’m fighting for world freedom,” he told the Post in a video before last night’s arrest. “Freedom from oppressive governments like North Korea and China.” He might want to try a different tactic.
“I must be getting old,” Mike told us. “Half of me was thinking while watching it, ‘Those fucking pigs! Leave Superman alone!’ but the other half of me was thinking: ‘Serves him right for pissing off a cop.’”