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Dispute Splits Band Of Self-Professed Michigan Superheroes

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Mark Wayne Williams dressed as Batman (credit: Petoskey Department of Public Safety)

Mark Wayne Williams dressed as Batman (credit: Petoskey Department of Public Safety)

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PETOSKEY, Mich. (WWJ/AP) – A dispute between two men over leadership of a costumed band of self-proclaimed real-life Michigan superheroes has escalated into a battle of insults.

Mark Williams, who dresses up as Batman to patrol the northern Michigan community of Petoskey, and Adam Besso, who hails from the Detroit area and is nicknamed “Bee Sting,” became friends after Williams got in trouble with police in 2011.

But now their dispute has split the dozen-member “Michigan Protectors” group, The Detroit News reported.

“He is an abusive, neglectful, thieving, boastful, cowardly crook,” Williams said of Besso. “He belongs in jail, and I will see him there.”

Williams, a part-time landscaper, who has drawn attention for patrolling dressed as the caped crusader in Petoskey, has made headlines in the past couple of years do to a few run-ins with the law.

He was arrested in 2011 after being spotted atop a building while wearing a Batman costume, and spent a few days in jail in after he was charged with interfering with police at an accident scene.   At one point Williams was barred from wearing his batman costume by court order, but a judge later said he could appear in the getup only within the Petoskey city limits — about 225 miles northwest of Detroit.

Besso was arrested in 2012 after his shotgun discharged as he patrolled near Flint while wearing a bulletproof vest, black leather jacket with a bee logo, shin guards and knee pads. When Besso got out of jail, he rejuvenated the dormant Michigan Protectors, but some wanted Williams to be co-leader.

“He has to tear others down to feel better about himself,” Besso said. “He’s like `Lord of the Flies’ with a slightly better version of dirt bags.”

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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