Spider-Man brightened lives in this North Carolina town. Then someone called the police.

Spider-Man: Friend or foe?

In the Union County town of Waxhaw this month, police responded to a call of a person in a black Spider-Man costume walking down a road.

The costume resembled the one in the 2007 Sam Raimi-directed movie Spider-Man 3, in which actor Tobey Maguire plays Peter Parker and turns not-so-friendly when his black suit takes control of him.

“Officers went out and spoke with the gentleman,” the Waxhaw Police Department said on Facebook May 14.

Police said the man told them he “liked to dress up and make random individuals’ day.”

So patrol Officer Marshall Reece “had to snap a picture with him!” police said. The department included a photo of the smiling Reece standing beside Spider-Man on a gravel road cut through a field.

“Waxhaw, meet your neighborhood Spiderman!!!” police wrote.

Waxhaw wants to know what Spidey wants in town

Police didn’t identify Spidey on Facebook or say the location of the photo shoot. Police also didn’t say why the caller felt compelled to notify them about the costumed man.

Police said they posted the photo after responding a few weeks ago to the call. They included two black heart emojis, one Carolina-blue-sky heart emoji and a black spider emoji with their post.

The police message seemed clear: Nothing to fear, folks, if you happen upon him, or vice versa.

Still, the post continued to fuel speculation on social media this week about Spider-Man and his intentions, and those of the caller to police.

Patrol Officer Marshall Reece of the Waxhaw Police Department poses with a man seen walking on a road in a black Spider-Man costume.
Patrol Officer Marshall Reece of the Waxhaw Police Department poses with a man seen walking on a road in a black Spider-Man costume.

“He made our day!!”

The Facebook picture that police posted has drawn at least 11,000 likes, 215 shares and 260 comments.

“Sorry for whoever thinks being different should be illegal,” a Fort Mill man posted on Facebook about the caller to police.

“Someone called police on a superhero?” a Statesville woman asked. “What is the world coming to?”

“Frivolous and idiotic,” a Charlotte man said about the call.

Others said police were right to check the guy out.

“... the really bad people use this type of stuff to lure kids,” another woman wrote.

Said a Weddington woman: “Welfare checks never hurt. Thanks for the smiles, friendly neighborhood Spiderman!”

On Facebook, residents reported seeing Spider-Man in their various Waxhaw neighborhoods.

“HE MADE OUR DAY!!!” a woman wrote after saying she saw him on Pine Oak Road.

In hopes of finding and interviewing Spider-Man, The Charlotte Observer left phone messages since Friday with Waxhaw Mayor Robert Murray and the Waxhaw officer who handles media calls, Lt. Michael Mulligan. Neither returned the calls.

Waxhaw, with about 22,500 people, lacks the skyscrapers of New York City or Charlotte, so Spider-Man can’t be web-slinging around. Where is he now?

Perhaps if J. Jonah Jameson, editor-in-chief at The Daily Bugle newspaper and boss of Peter Parker were in town, he’d have more luck.