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Real Life Superhero Dark Guardian Hangs Up Cape to Join Guardian Angels

By Nicholas Rizzi | February 10, 2017 2:59pm | Updated on February 13, 2017 9:48am
Chris "Dark Guardian" Pollak (left) has started the first official Guardian Angels chapter on Staten Island in decades to help patrol the borough's railway.
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Courtesy of Chris Pollak

STATEN ISLAND — Real life superhero The Dark Guardian is ditching his cape for a red beret.

Chris Pollak — a lowly martial arts instructor by day, a costumed crusader for justice by night — will take on Staten Island's bad guys as the head of the borough's Guardian Angels.

"I think it's great timing," said Pollak, 32.

"No one can ignore the drug epidemic, the heroin use, the pill use. If you just talk to anybody out on the street, they say it's not as good as it used to be."

Pollak, dressed in a homemade superhero costume of a black and red leather jacket and pants and a bulletproof vest, has been a one-man band tackling the city's seedy underbelly for more than a decade.

He starred in an HBO documentary in 2011 focusing on real life superheroes around the country.

Last year, after reports of drug problems plaguing the Staten Island Railway, unarmed civilian crime fighters the Guardian Angels, led by Curtis Sliwa, traveled to the borough to make patrols.

Pollak joined them. He later decided their presence should become common and launched the chapter with four other members.

It's the first time the Angels have had a presence on Staten Island since the 1980s, Pollak said.

The group spends most nights riding SIR rails and keeping an eye out for people who are up to no good.

So far, they've found nothing that called for their crime fighting powers.

"[We're] just simply creating a presence, deterring anything from happening," said Pollak, of Annadale.

"Anytime I talk to somebody they say, 'Hey man, we need this out here, these drugs are out of control.'"

They've spent some of their time handing out fliers letting people know about their efforts with information on local drug addiction support groups.

"We're not going to sit around and tolerate people doing drugs out in the open," he said.

"Our main thing isn't to go after addicts, it's to get them help. Past that, it's to stop people selling stuff."