FLINT, Mich. — Publicity over a dispute between two men over leadership of a costumed band of self-professed real-life Michigan superheroes ended up getting one of them in trouble again.
Adam Besso, 38, who hails from the Detroit area and is nicknamed "Bee Sting," pleaded guilty last month to leaving Michigan without permission of his probation officer, The Flint Journal and The Detroit News reported. He's to be sentenced March 31.
Besso also was cited by his probation officer for driving illegally and identifying himself as "Bee Sting," wearing a mask and a crime-fighting costume. Besso said authorities should have better things to do than pursue him.
"People on probation are robbing stores, assaulting people, dealing drugs, and they're going to go after me because I drove my son to wrestling camp," he said about the July trip to Kent, Ohio.
In an article in early February by The Detroit News, Besso also indicated he drove with a suspended license. The article highlighted a rift between Besso and Mark Williams, who dresses up as Batman to patrol the northern Michigan community of Petoskey.
Probation officials also tracked some of Besso's conduct through Facebook posts.
Williams and Besso became friends after Williams got in trouble with police in 2011, but their dispute split the dozen-member Michigan Protectors group. During his February court hearing, a judge settled the matter and approved amending Besso's probation to prohibit him from being affiliated with the group.
Williams, a part-time landscaper, has drawn attention for patrolling in Petoskey. He was arrested in 2011 after being spotted atop a building while wearing a Batman costume. He was arrested again in 2012 for interfering with police at an accident scene.
"Part of me is pretty happy," Williams said. "He was going around, basically in your face, violating all the terms of his probation."
Besso was arrested in 2012 after his shotgun discharged as he patrolled near Flint while wearing a bulletproof vest, black leather jacket with a bee logo, shin guards and knee pads. When Besso got out of jail, he rejuvenated the dormant Michigan Protectors, but some wanted Williams to be co-leader.