Newport is the home of the eccentric. Where else would you find the ‘Vigilante Ninja’ or his nemesis the ‘Chavinator’? Where else would you find the ‘Alway Assassin’ or the ‘St. Julians Saboteur’? Where else would you find a policeman, confronted with a twenty one year old ‘ninja’ brandishing a wooden sword call for ‘Back up’ – in this case a police helicopter and dogs?
Twenty one year old Tanis Baker, bullied at school and mugged one night on his way home could have been just another uncomplaining statistic. Instead a blinding light exploded in his mind. Gotham City had its Batman. Newport…? Zero, Zilch. Here was a vacuum to be filled. Thus was born the “Ringland Ninja!”
At night, mild mannered Tanis Baker dressed in designer black and patrolled his neighbourhood, armed with a wooden sword, seven smoke bombs, and a change of clothing. Lacking a Moriarty, a Joker, or Two Face the Ringland Ninja cut his teeth on minor crime – confiscating alcohol from underage drinkers in Beechwood Park, smoking out loitering youths with one of his seven smoke bombs, and escaping in a series of leaps, bounds and roly polys.
When arrested by officers, unaware of his crime-fighting potential, Tanis explained who he was: ‘The eyes and ears of the police on the streets.’ The court was not impressed. Tanis Baker was given a 12 month supervision order and told to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work.
Newport may, however, rest easy and good citizens can walk the streets without fear. It is rumoured that Tanis Baker had two sidekicks – the Alway Assassin and the St Julians Saboteur. And of course in twelve months time Newport’s own Dark Knight might well return. One thing for sure, Newport needs its Super Heroes.