MANHATTAN — A new batch of caped crusaders may soon guard Greenwich Village's streets.
The "real-life superhero" Dark Guardian, who has patrolled Greenwich Village and the West Village for years, told DNAinfo he's building a posse of crime fighters after a video-taped attack at a West Third Street McDonald's on Thursday left a woman with severe injuries.
Dark Guardian, whose mild-mannered alter ego is Staten Island martial arts instructor Chris Pollak, 27, said the McDonald's attack — for which McDonald's cook Rayon McIntosh faces felony assault charges for allegedly beating two women with a metal rod used to clean the restaurant's griddle — could have been prevented.
"Neither the employees nor the customers did anything. They were apathetic to the situation," Dark Guardian said, echoing comments made Tuesday by Gerald Darbeau, the father of Denise Darbeau, a woman who suffered a fractured skull from the attack.
Dark Guardian said if he had been there he would have "stepped in to defuse and calm the situation down before it reached the point of brutal violence".
The superhero, who wears a homemade costume and bulletproof vest, is encouraging people to contact him and join his ranks. He says people have the power to make their neighborhoods safer.
"It's time for good people to take back their streets from the criminals and thugs," Dark Guardian said. "When communities start working together to combat crime and tackle problems, we can really make things better."
Would-be superheroes can email him at DarkGuardianRLSH@gmail.com. Costumes are not required, and training would be provided, he added.
Dark Guardian told DNAinfo in August that he and a crew of other volunteer crusaders were carrying out 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. patrols of the West Village. The group broke up fights, shooed away drug dealers with a flashlight and warded off would-be muggers, he said.
In a video filmed by a friend, Dark Guardian, whose nightlife was profiled in the HBO documentary "Superheroes," talks to men who he believes are drug dealers — though the video shows no illegal activity.
He tells them that they need to leave the perimeter of Washington Square Park.
"You guys have got to go. You've got to do something productive," he says.
"This ain't your park," Dark Guardian says to the camera. "This is for law-abiding citizens. I'm going to take care of this place now.
"I'm going to be watching it and I'm not going to let anything bad happen here anymore."