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Barrie Advance

'Bat Girl' arrested after publicity stunt

Barrie Advance, Barrie, Ontario, by Rick Vanderlinde, Staff, April 25, 2009

A woman dressed as Bat Girl climbed to the top of the water tower at the Cookstown Outlet Mall jut before noon Saturday and unfurled a banner in the name of Fathers for Justice.

Firefighters from Bradford West Gwillimbury used an aerial ladder truck to climb to an upper platform of the tower to bring the unidentified woman down.

Before the ladder was raised a lone firefighter climbed up the tower's metal and spoke with the woman for about 10 minutes.

A large banner the woman hung from the side of the tower, which overlooks Highway 400, proclaimed the cause of Fathers for Justice, a group that has criticized Ontario's Family Court system as being unfair to divorced fathers.

Bat Girl
Firefighters help a 49-year-old Alliston woman dressed as Batgirl down from the water tower at the Cookstown Outlet Mall Saturday.

The banner read: Parental Alienation Awareness; Love is For Everyone.

Mayor Mike MacEachern of New Tecumseth and Mayor Tom Walsh of Adjala-Tosorontio both made the proclaimations.

The woman was escorted down the fire truck's ladder as dozens of mostly bemused spectators looked on.

When she reached the parking lot she was immediately arrested by South Simcoe Police officers, who escorted her to a waiting cruiser.

A mall maintenance worker said it wasn't clear how the woman managed to access the tower's ladder to carry the large banner to the top.

The ladder is locked from the bottom and is raised six feet from the ground for safety reasons.

April 25 is Parental Alienation Awareness Day. The group Fathers 4 Justice Canada hosted an event to raise awareness for their cause last Saturday at Zehr's in Alliston where a similar banner was displayed.

Over the past two weeks representatives of Fathers 4 Justice have attended local municipal council meetings and asked for proclamations setting aside April 25 as Parental Alienation Awareness Day. The 49-year-old Alliston woman is now facing charges of mischief as a result of the stunt.

She was released on a Promise to Appear and a Recognizance with several conditions. She will appear in a Bradford Court on May 28 to answer to the charge.