Community rallies around Minneola ‘Superman’
MINNEOLA — Minneola’s own superhero was at it again Monday, undaunted by a physical attack last week that left him with minor injuries and a slight case of nerves. As Superman would have done.
MINNEOLA — Minneola’s own superhero was at it again Monday, undaunted by a physical attack last week that left him with minor injuries and a slight case of nerves.
As Superman would have done, Raeshorn Pitt brushed off his cape and continued with his favorite activity — waving to passersby on the corner of U.S. Highway 27 and Washington Street in Minneola and demonstrating his kung fu moves in his Superman costume.
On Thursday, Rae was reportedly challenged to a fight by Tyler McCorvey, 26, who allegedly ended up punching him and more. McCorvey was arrested Friday for simple assault and aggravated abuse of a disabled adult.
On Sunday, dozens of people came out in a show of support for him and on Monday, it continued with drivers honking as they passed him. Others stopped to shake Rae’s hand or to bring him a drink. Some stopped to have their picture taken with him.
A woman in one car let her car window down, stuck her arm out close-fisted, raised it in superhero style and screamed out, “Hi Rae, glad you’re OK.”
A man on a motorcycle behind her yelled, “Hey Superman.”
“I think he’s awesome. He’s friendly and he makes people smile. I think he’s fighting the forces of evil out here that none of can see,” Daniel Mac said.
Pitt, 20, is deaf and can only communicate in writing or via sign language.
He said he enjoys seeing the smiles on people’s faces and gets a kick out of people’s reactions.
“I wave and thumb for crowd and people.
They watch me and I fight the devil man,”
Pitt said Monday.
His mother, Angi Pitt, said through Facebook messenger that Rae began practicing kung fu moves he’d made up or seen on television while standing out in public last November.
She said he took on the Superman persona when a retired military man dropped off a costume and cape for him to wear. Right away, the waves and smiles from people began and a frenzy of support erupted on Facebook and throughout the community.
“He believes this is his job and does it to make people smile,” Angi Pitt said.
One man, who asked that his name not be used, started a Facebook fan page titled Rae, AKA Minneola’s Superhero.
He said since Rae’s return after being attacked, support on the page has increased even more than before.
“I can tell you I have been receiving HUNDREDS of messages from people all over the country and Canada. Everything from wishing him well to pouring out their hearts. It’s been incredibly rewarding,” he said. “Everything from a deaf, autistic kid in Indiana who gets bullied that has used Rae as inspiration to fight through it to adults with disabilities in similar situation.”
“They all look up to Rae and find his story and passion to make people smile very touching,” he said.
He also said people are rallying and raising money on GoFundMe and other sites to take Rae to theme parks and even to Minnesota to attend the 40-year anniversary Superman fan show in Metropolis.
“If this doesn’t warm your heart… and this happens all day. It has turned into much more than a fan page,” he said.