A man who was renowned in the Washington D.C. area for the countless hours he spent impersonating Batman at local hospitals has died following a car accident on a highway in Maryland. The man, 51 year old Leonard Robinson of Owing Mills, Maryland, was struck and killed while he was attempting to check the engine of his “Batmobile” along the eastbound I-70 highway on Sunday night. According to police reports, the crash took place at approximately 10:30 PM that evening.
Responding officers have stated that Robinson was hit by a Toyota Camry shortly after he pulled over to inspect the engine of his vehicle, a Lamborghini he had customized to look like a real-life Batmobile. Robinson was apparently coming home from a car show when he suddenly had to pull over in the fast lane in order to check issues he appeared to be having with his engine. It was around this time that the unidentified driver of the Toyota Camry struck Robinson’s Lamborghini, which in turn struck Robinson following the impact—he was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the Toyota Camry did not suffer any injuries during the accident, and investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash is still ongoing. State police responding to the scene have said that no charges have been filed against the driver at this time.
Leonard Robinson first gained national attention after he was filmed being pulled over by police in 2012 while he was driving his Batmobile in full Batman attire. Before then, however, he was well known for adorning himself in a replica Batman suit in order to visit sick children at nearby hospitals. Reports have indicated that Robinson made his fair share of wealth in the cleaning business and made the decision to purchase over $25,000 worth of Batman shirts, toys, and books that he then gave to the children he was visiting in the hospital. Those who knew Robinson as the man and not just the hero have revered his dedication to bringing smiles to the children who needed it the most. He would frequently visit the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, and on one visit he took time to reflect on the vast injustices these children were facing every single day. Robinson himself had three healthy children—perhaps a driving factor in his decision to devote so much time to children who weren’t as fortunate.
He was also acclaimed for his work for the organization Hope for Henry, a D.C. based organization that provides help to children in need. If you asked Robinson about his time as Batman, he would simply answer “I’m just doing it for the kids.” But to the kids his visits meant so much more. The founders of Hope for Henry, who established the organization after the couple’s son Henry passed away from a rare disease, would often throw parties where Batman would become the star centerpiece. Laurie Strongin, founder of Hope for Henry, said that while Batman star Leonard Robinson never met her son, he would still call her every year on what would have been Henry’s birthday. Through her tears she was able to provide comments to the Washington Post, and she detailed how her organization had just completed a video starring Leonard as Batman alongside a young Leukemia patient, also impersonating Batman. Strongin said that Robinson always said “yes” when asked to do anything to help out the children.
Further details on the accident are expected to be provided in the days to follow. For now, however, those who knew Leonard Robinson as a hero and as a friend will mourn for the man who gave so much for others without asking for anything in return.
Additional information and quotes may be found at the following links: http://www.wcvb.com/news/batman-impersonator-dies-in-highway-crash/34758078