General Crime

Batkid Hundreds of people gathered in San Francisco’s Union Square to cheer him on

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Hundreds of people gathered in San Francisco’s Union Square to cheer on “Batkid” as he continues on his crime-fighting spree today. The young superhero, known in everyday life as Miles, ate lunch at the Burger Bar inside the Macy’s building at Union Square, but then sped off on another mission to rescue San Francisco Giants mascot Lou Seal, who had been kidnapped by Batman’s rival, the Penguin.

The activities are part of the Make-a-Wish Foundation’s daylong event to grant a big wish for Miles, a young leukemia patient whose cancer is in remission. Miles wanted to be Batman. Helicopters hovered overhead and yellow police tape helped hold back the crowds as the throngs of fans, many holding yellow and black balloons or wearing T-shirts with the Batman logo, waited for a glimpse of Batkid.

Onlookers also dotted the windows of nearby apartment buildings. Among those waiting at the entrance to Macy’s was Stan Roth, 63, owner of Stanley’s Steamers hot dogs. Roth said that even if he didn’t have a hot dog cart right in Union Square, he would still have come out for today’s events. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” he said. Roth’s 28-year-old son is a cancer survivor, and he said he thinks the project to transform San Francisco into Gotham City for Miles is “pretty special.” “I think it just appeals to the best part of human nature,” Roth said.

Alice Leong, who is visiting San Francisco with her granddaughter from Santa Clarita, Calif., agreed. “I’m tired of hearing all that yucky stuff on TV,” she said. “This is the good part. This makes you feel good,” she said with a smile. Leong said she learned of the “Batkid” plans on TV, and noted that the story even was discussed on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Adam Clay and Javier Villagomez, both 23, came down to San Francisco from Vallejo with their cameras this morning to catch some of the action.

“I think it’s pretty cool how everyone came out in their Batman gear,” said Clay, whose backpack has a Batman logo. “It’s almost like a holiday.” During Miles’ lunch, the Journey song “Don’t Stop Believin'” began blaring. A short time later, the Penguin drove out of the underground Union Square parking garage to boos from the crowd. A few minutes later, Batkid himself walked out of Macy’s alongside Batman and the crowd chanted Batkid’s name as the pair paused to survey the crowd.

Batman then pointed forward and the two got into the waiting Batmobile and drove off for AT&T Park, where another adventure awaited them involving the Penguin and the kidnapped Lou Seal. The day of events is ending this afternoon outside San Francisco City Hall, where Mayor Ed Lee will give Miles a key to the city.

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