Batkid's Make-a-Wish Transforms San Francisco Into Gotham

Thousands turned out in the streets of San Francisco today to cheer on Batkid, the 5-year-old boy with leukemia whose dream to be Batman for a day is coming true.

The Make-a-Wish Foundation created an entire day catered to Miles' dream, which began with a televised plea from the police chief for Batkid’s help to bring the bad guys to justice.

“Gotham City needs you Batman. It's critical that you call me right now,” Police Chief Greg Suhr said.

Miles set off on his first mission, riding in his very own Batmobile, a Lamborghini donated for the day by a Gotham citizen, to rescue a damsel in distress tied up across the Hyde Street cable car.



Credit: Jeff Chiu/AP Photo

Batkid and Batman rescued the woman, surrounded by hundreds of cheering onlookers who lined the streets behind fake police tape that had been erected for the city-wide takeover event.


“You've saved her, #SFBatkid ! The citizens of Gotham thank you,!!!!” Make-A-Wish Bay Area tweeted with a photo of Batkid being applauded by all his supporters.

PHOTOS: Batkid Wows San Francisco

But there's no rest for superheros, and the California kindergartner was immediately alerted to his next mission: capturing the Riddler who was robbing a downtown vault.

“Breaking news: There's a robbery in the Financial District, #SFBatkid !!! Stop him!,” Make-A-Wish Bay Area wrote, encouraging him to hurry.


Batkid wasted no time getting to the scene of the crime, apprehending the Riddler him and putting him in the back of a police car. But even superheroes have to eat, so Batkid and the big Batman impersonator helping him out, rested over a celebratory lunch at Burger Bar with the mayor and the chief of police.

Get the latest at our Batkid live blog.

However, as Batkid was eating his lunch, the chief gave him a special message to look out the window overlooking Union Square. He saw a huge group of volunteers jumping up and down and asking for his help.

The Penguin kidnapped famous San Francisco Giants mascot, Lou Seal, sending Batkid out to the rescue again.

Lou Seal was tied up inside AT&T Park's miniature ball park, but his villainous plot was no match for Batkid’s bold moves.


After freeing the beloved mascot, Batkid watched a thank you message from Gotham's police chief in the stadium’s jumbotron, and set off for City Hall, where the mayor and police chief will thank him and present him with a key to the city.

"He is a sunny, positive little boy and finds his inspiration in super heroes," Make-a-Wish said of Miles. "When we interviewed Miles for a wish, he surprised even his parents: he wishes to be BatKid!"

Make-a-Wish decided to make Miles' dream come true and, in a rare move for the foundation, asked the public to participate.

"This is one that we thought of as a great opportunity for people to share in the power of a wish so they can see how it affects not only the children and their families, but also the other people involved," Jen Wilson, marketing and promotions manager for Make-a-Wish in San Francisco, told ABCNews.com. "It has a big impact on many people.

"Since he wants to be a superhero, we felt like having a large crowd there waiting with signs and cheering him on would make him feel like a hero, not just because he battle villains and helped fight crime, but he's a true hero," Wilson said.

The interest level in Miles' wish has been "extreme," Wilson said, and that this is "definitely not the typical wish we grant."

Thousands of people volunteered to participate in the event, according to  ABC's San Fransisco affiliate, KGO-TV, who tracked Batkid's moves and sat down with Miles and his family ahead of the big day.

"We've gotten people who want to volunteer to participate, actors reaching out asking if they can play a role, photographers and videographers offering their services, people who want to give Miles gifts, makeup artists willing to donate their services, a fire truck that want to come out and show their support," Wilson said. "It's quite a range."

The event drew a huge response as it played out across social media, summoning tweets from San Francisco 49ershead coach Jim Harbaugh, Sen.Patrick Leahy, Calif. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, even a special message from President Barack Obama.

"Way to go Miles, way to save Gotham," the president said in a Vine video.

The San Francisco U.S.Attorney’s Office took part as well, formally charging the Riddler and the Penguin for conspiracy and kidnapping for their “all too familiar villainous ways in Gotham City,”according to the criminal indictment.

“I was about to give up hope that we would ever bring them to justice, wouldn’t you know it – Batkid shows up and saves the day,” U.S.Attorney Melinda Haag said in the indictment.

The San Francisco Chronicle issued a special edition cover which devoted their entire front page to the young superhero. The headline for the lead story is "Batkid Saves City." The author? None other than Clark Kent. The other front page stories, all about Batkid, are written by Lois Lane, Brenda Starr and Perry White.

Get the latest at our Batkid live blog.

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