Vigilante 'superhero' held after shootout

2013-01-24 12:16
Menganno, an Argentine resident of Lanus dressed as a "superhero", poses for a picture in Lanus square, province of Buenos Aires. (AFP)

Menganno, an Argentine resident of Lanus dressed as a "superhero", poses for a picture in Lanus square, province of Buenos Aires. (AFP)

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Buenos Aires - He was a self-styled superhero, prowling the gritty outskirts of Buenos Aires wearing a mask and cartoonish outfit and armed only with a flashlight, compass and pepper spray as he took on bad guys.

But now his cover is blown, thanks to an alleged shootout with muggers, and the superhero is charged with carrying an unlicensed gun, police said on Wednesday.

The man who called himself Menganno - Spanish for Joe Blow - and became famous in Argentine media is actually one Oscar Lefosse, 43, a former cop who served from 1986 to 1996. It turns out his gun license expired a year ago.

On Monday, Lefosse told police that three petty criminals opened fire on his car as he drove with his wife. He returned fire with his Glock pistol.

On his Facebook page, "Menganno" – 33 000 followers - posted a photo of what he said was his bullet ridden car.

Criticism

But a policeman quoted by the news agency Telam said the shots all came from inside the car.

"He could have killed somebody, an innocent bystander. He is irresponsible," the official said.

In an interview with AFP in 2010, Menganno described himself as "a real, flesh and blood superhero. My goal is for all of us to be better and show more solidarity. Injustice makes me sick".

He said then that he only defended himself with a flashlight, pepper spray and a compass, and had a company in the security sector. He did not elaborate.

"I do not walk around the street armed. I keep my gun at home," he said on Wednesday on Argentine TV.

Lefosse used to hide his identity behind a mask that was a mix of dark and baby blue and coordinated nicely colour-wise with a Superman style suit he wore, with a symbol on his chest to boot.

 

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