Police in a suburb near the U.S. capital got a surprise when they stopped a driver who appeared to have improper license plates on his car: they had pulled over none other than the comic-book hero Batman.

This video comes from a camera mounted on the dashboard of a police cruiser that records officers' activity - standard procedure in many parts of the U.S. The officer who first spotted Batman's car ordered him to stop because his expensive black Lamborghini sports car did not display a proper license plate from the state of Maryland.  In its place was a replica license marked BATMAN.

The cartoon character Batman is a citizen who helps police fight crime.  He wears a bat costume to keep his identity secret.

The Batman driver in Maryland showed police he did have legal license plates and registration inside his car.  After posing for an officer's photo, he was free to go on his way, to entertain children at a hospital.

The incident took place recently on March 21 in Montgomery County, a part of Maryland that borders the city of Washington.  Police identified the man behind the Batman costume only as "Lenny."

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.