Black Rat a white knight for Sydney
By Lauren Murada
SYDNEY, you can sleep easier. A homegrown masked crusader has emerged from the shadows to protect the innocent.
His name: The Black Rat. His aim: To make the streets safer for everyone. His first target: Footpath lighting.
OK it’s not as dramatic as jailing the Joker but this guy is serious about making a difference in the inner city, where he lives an otherwise anonymous life.
“Since moving to St Peters from Newtown I found it a more dangerous area. I’ve had four attempted muggings,” the Black Rat told the Inner West Courier.
“There are safety issues that someone should deal with and I realised that I am someone.”
The Black Rat, a martial arts exponent, has spent thousands on his protective “rat suit”.
“It’s made from knife resistant industrial clothing and the rat cowl is packed with flexible impact-resistant armour plates that make it a functioning helmet,” he said.
His “armoured rat pack” contains a fire extinguisher, fire blanket and first aid kit.
“The most important thing is my mobile phone,” he said. “I don’t cause trouble. If I see something I call the cops.”
The Black Rat is no vigilante. He says the suit is mainly for PR and public appearances.
“If you cross paths with The Black Rat you probably won’t even know. All of the protective elements of the rat suit can be removed and worn under street clothes and that’s how I patrol.”
His first goal is to get street lighting fixed on Campbell St, St Peters, and he plans to organise a residents’ petition.
“Most of this year the whole middle of the street has been blacked out, it’s like driving into a cave,” he said.
“A lot of people don’t feel safe, you wouldn’t recognise your own neighbour. Some people have taken to walking down the middle of the road, which isn’t good.”
And he is not the first man to don a costume and take Sydney’s streets to fight crime and injustice. Almost exactly 12 months ago Mr Notahero was patrolling the streets of Kings Cross. Check out the video.
Marrickville Mayor Victor Macri said he would be open to hearing the Black Rat’s safety suggestions.
If you have a broken streetlight in your street, contact The Black Rat by email via email@example.com and he will make sure it is brought to AusGrid’s attention.
You can also contact him on Facebook by looking up The Black Rat RLSH.