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Seen At 11: Real Life NYC 'Superheroes' Take Matters Into Their Own Hands

NEW YORK (CBS 2) -- By day they are just like everybody else, but by night a group of real life "superheroes" patrols the streets of New York City, avenging crime by taking matters into their own hands.

Members of the New York Superheroes go by names like "Snipe," "Spyder," "Dark Guardian," and "Spector," names that could have been pulled straight from the pages of a comic book, and they take their commitment to doing good very seriously.

"We're New Yorkers. This is the city we have to protect," Spyder recently told CBS 2's Maurice Dubois.

Every night they mount their skateboards, which double as shields, and take to the streets.

"Throw it down and I can chase somebody if they're trying to get away," "Zero" explained.

When they are out at night searching the subways and scaling walls, looking for trouble, the superheroes protect themselves with non-traditional body armor made from plastic and metal.

CBS 2's cameras were with the group as they confronted a man who, the superheroes said, had been causing trouble in Harlem River Park.

The activists are part of a much bigger movement sweeping across the country. Some of them even wear full superhero costumes when they head out on their nightly patrols.

New Yorkers told CBS 2 that they like the idea of a group of citizens looking out for the community.

"To me, it's a beautiful thing," one man said.

And how does the NYPD feel about the superheroes?

"We encourage civilians interested in helping their community to join an established NYPD program in their local precinct," a Police Department spokesperson said.

The group told CBS 2 that they try to de-escalate high-stress situations, and frequently work with law enforcement.

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