A man brandishing a machete and wearing a surgical mask apparently prevented a liquor store/bar from further looting in Baltimore.
The man, a bouncer at the establishment, has been nicknamed the Baltimore Batman for stepping up. His real name is Brian Woodyard, coincidentally the same initials as Batman's alter ego, Bruce Wayne.
Baltimore has been engulfed in civil unrest for the past several nights as a result of the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody. Liquor stores have been a frequent target of youths in the chaotic situation.
"After seeing people looting tobacco and alcohol from the business Monday night, causing thousands of dollars in losses and damages, this dark knight returned to work with his mask and weapon, ready to restore order," the New York Daily News explained.
Woodyard, reportedly an ex-felon, went back to the scene of the crime and stood guard over Old Clubhouse Beer & Wine out of a strong sense of loyalty and gratitude to the ownership who gave him a job.
"These people actually stood up and gave me a chance... A lot of us did not wear masks, but a lot of us did defend our homes, our storefronts, defend our bars, and we did our best," CBS News 21 reported.
His presence evidently resulted in keeping about 50 would-be looters away from the business.
"I came with my mask on my face, ready to do what I have to do to protect my livelihood," he said.
With reference to the machete, Woodyard added, "It's the only thing I have. I can't pull out a shotgun," Western Journalism reported.
The Baltimore Batman admitted to the London Telegraph that he was prepared to use the machete if necessary, which it wasn't fortunately. He also acknowledged that it wouldn't be legal to do so.
"But forget the law when the law can't protect civilians. This is kind of all-out war," he said.
About the mask, he claimed in a televised news report that it was the only thing he could grab at the time and "get down here and try to save my job."
Separately, news reports emerged overnight that possibly raised questions about whether Freddie Gray died from a spinal injury as a result of police brutality. Gray, 25, was allegedly trying to hurt himself as he was transported away in a police van the day he was arrested, a prisoner who was traveling in the same van says. The revelation comes as the city of Baltimore continues to live under a tense situation and a state of emergency has been declared.
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the mayor of Baltimore, has denied a report that she gave police a stand-down order when riots first broke out.
[image via Twitter]