Caledon. Ontario - The gritty quality of this cellphone video just makes it all the more real; this is neither a stunt or a prank, as a real-life Batman gets pulled over by a Caledon, Ontario police cruiser.

The Batmobile is a replica of the vehicle driven by Michael Keaton in the 1989 Dark Knight film, built by a local entrepreneur on the chassis and running gear of a scrapped Chevrolet Caprice police car. It’s one of only two such recreations that are street-legal (the other is in Australia, but its owner-builder has no ambitions to becoming a cape crusader). This Batman, however, is no replica.

As a 14-year-old in Markham, Ontario, Steven Lawrence used to wear a long black trench-coat over his uniform when walking to school, which got him the nickname ‘Batman’ from his schoolmates. While still at school, he tackled a would-be credit card scammer at a shipping mall, who turned out to be wanted all over Canada for fraud - and that got him hooked on helping.

When his father died three years later, it led him to draw parallels between his own life and that of Bruce Wayne. He took to walking the streets of his hometown, Brampton in a homemade batsuit after his 2-10pm shift at the local Coca-Cola bottling plant - changing flat tyres, chasing away would-be muggers, stepping in whenever he saw somebody in trouble, always avoiding violence so that he couldn’t be accused of vigilantism.

Nobody knew who he was, but a lot of people knew he was there.

But that all changed after he bought the Batmobile from its builder, Glenn McCullagh (it took him years of walking two and a half hours to work and back to save up the purchase price) in 2014 and began driving it in public. Now the Brampton Batman is something of a local celebrity, making charity appearances with the car attending attending comic cons.

He has no intention, however, of giving up his nightly patrols - even though he still gets pulled over occasionally by cops who just can’t believe their eyes. Or maybe she just wanted the number of his batphone…

IOL Motoring