March 6, 2014

Batman bailed out in Mooresville

Mechanic’s family aids Caped Crusader when Batmobile conks out.

Sometimes even a superhero needs a hero to bail him out.

Batman, known out of his costume as retired businessman Lenny Robinson, goes around the country visiting children’s hospitals in a custom-built Batmobile. He came to the Charlotte area Tuesday for a screening of the documentary “Legends of the Knight,” which aired Thursday at EpiCentre. But he found himself stranded in a Mooresville parking lot Tuesday night, when his Bat-starter died.

Alice Garaas was leaving PetSmart with her dog and called her pal Heather Smith, co-owner of Street Customs auto restoration shop. The Smiths leapt into action.

Heather fetched a starter from Advance Auto Parts. Husband Jimmy went under the car to replace the defective part and diagnose the bigger problem: a broken housing that would have to be held in place each time someone cranked the engine, until it was replaced. Sons Justin, 18, and Bryson, 7, lent moral support – which was especially apt, as Bryson is both a huge Batman fan and is being treated for leukemia at Hemby Children’s Hospital in Charlotte.

Result: Batman back on the road. Bryson back at home, playing with Batman Legos. Smith and Garaas invited to local premiere of “Legends.” Forces of evil foiled again.

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