Hospital visits of Batman impersonator canceled in wake of Colorado shootings

Claudine Zap

It seemed like a perfectly nice thing to do: Man dresses up as Batman and visits children's hospitals. That is, until the Aurora, Colorado, shootings.

Lenny Robinson, of Maryland, dresses up as Batman. He has a custom-made bat suit and a replica of the Batmobile, which he had planned to take on a cross-country tour of hospitals.

The masked man had already received attention on the Web when the Lamborghini he was driving was pulled over by police for problems with his license plates. (The cops ended up taking his picture.)

And then the horrific massacre in Aurora, Colorado, at the movie theater playing the Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises," unfolded.

Since then, the caped crusader has had two hospitals cancel his appearances, over concerns that the image of the masked superhero now connected with the shootings might to be too scary for kids.

One hospital that canceled, the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, said that it consulted with the hospital's children's psychiatrist before deciding not to have the Maryland Batman visited.

A statement to ABC News confirmed, "The visit of Batman impersonator, Lenny Robinson, was scheduled weeks before the tragic events in Colorado. After consulting with the head of our Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, it was the hospital's decision to reschedule the visit because his coming here is too soon after the shooting and it might be upsetting to some children and families."

Still, plenty of people seem to appreciate the Dark Knight impersonator's visits. On Robinson's Facebook page, comments included, "Thank you for making the world a brighter place. I know you inspire other people and hope that they go out and make a difference too!" Another added, "Keep up the good work Batman!!!" A third chimed in, "What you are doing, simply put, ROCKS!"

The 48-year-old father has been visiting kids in hospitals since 2001. The successful businessman sold his cleaning company and now devotes himself to charitable work dressed in superhero garb.

A representative for Robinson emailed Yahoo News that despite the cancellations, Robinson continued to greet kids at other sites. He was visiting Nationwide hospital in Columbus, Ohio, today and will be at the children's hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia, on Friday.

The superhero look-alike was understanding of the hospitals' decision to revoke their invitations. He wrote on his Facebook page, "My heart goes out to the family and friends of those who were affected by the shooting in Aurora, Colorado on Thursday night. This senseless act of violence has nothing to do with the Warner Bros' Batman franchise. At the heart of the movie is a central heroic figure that gives hope. The shootings in Colorado was a tragic event, but will not stop me from portraying Batman. I will continue to portray this iconic superhero, giving courage to sick children around the world that need it most."

He signed it "Batman."